Peak Week

2 weeks until USAT Nationals & 11 weeks until Chicago Marathon

The plans for an Olympic Distance Triathlon typically call for a one-week taper. So while I might be tapering at 2 weeks out for any other goal race, this was actually peak week for Nationals. At the beginning of the week my body was feeling great physically, but I was feeling very sleep deprivedBy midweek, I finally started to come around and not so sleepy all day.


  • Plan: Tempo Run: 3-4M @ 7:05 – 7:15 + 1:30 Steady State Bike
  • Actual: 8.9M @ 7:45 + 25.3M @ 16.6 mph

This tempo was a complete 180 from the same workout last week. To start, the temperature was a solid 15 degrees cooler and I also had significantly lower training volume over the weekend. There was a headwind for the first 2 tempo miles, but it wasn’t horrible and I knew that it would be behind me for the hardest part: 7:09, 7:06, 7:02, 6:58. I felt like I could have continued at tempo pace for a long time with that tail wind!

I had gotten up before 5 that morning to take Brad to the train. Between the early wake-up and a non-stop weekend, I was crazy tired. It was more than just normal Monday blues, I felt almost nauseated because I was so tired. I NEVER sleep during the day while working from home, but I gave in and took a 35 min nap between morning meetings and another hour nap over lunch. I felt much better and finally felt up to a ride after work. It was still chilly in the afternoon, with a ridiculous headwind out of the north. It was like I was riding against a wall and I really didn’t enjoy much about this ride.


  • Plan: 1:10 Easy Run + 2500 Swim
  • Actual: 8.3M @ 8:21 + 2500 Swim

I had to drop the car off at the dealership at 6:30 a.m., so I drove it down then ran home. It was a beautiful, cool morning. The legs felt super sluggish at the beginning, but felt better and better as the run went on.

{I was still pretty exhausted midday so I took yet another 40 min nap over lunch!}

I waited all day to get the car back, hoping that I would make the 6 p.m. lap swim time at the outdoor pool. Unfortunately, for various reasons, I missed it and ended up having to go to the 20 yd. pool. I less than excited about that, but when I got there I joined the 2nd half of a swim training class (kind of like Masters). It was nice to have someone else tell me what to do and not to have to think about the workout.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 45 min Easy Run + 1:30 Bike w/2×16′ Tempo
  • Actual: Strength + 5.45 @ 8:17 + 26.24M @ 17.4 mph

In an attempt to finally wipe-out the lingering sleepiness, I didn’t set an alarm. I got up around 7:15 and after my strength stuff, Walter and I finally headed out around 8. It was nice and cool and my legs felt really fresh.

Since I finally didn’t feel like I needed to sleep halfway through the day (geez, who do I think I am?!), I rode at lunch. Despite being a beautiful day, the path wasn’t overly crowded. I decided to actually do the tempo portion of this ride for the first time this training cycle. I haven’t made myself uncomfortable on the bike in a long time and I wanted to see if I could. It HURT. A lot. I probably shouldn’t have waited this long to try to push myself on the bike. (2×16 min = 20.5 mph & 20.7 mph)


  • Plan: Speed Workout: 7-8×400 @ 1:35-40 + 2700 Swim
  • Actual: 7.75M @ 8:17 + 2300 Swim (main set: 5×300)

I was flying to Virginia for work Thursday afternoon so I needed to squeeze both workouts in before my 9 a.m. conference call. I went to the track for the 400’s and they went really well. My legs were definitely ready for a rest day but I was really happy with how they responded: 1:36, 1:36, 1:34, 1:35, 1:36, 1:36, 1:35, 1:34. And I met Kimmie at the track!

After running, I went straight to the outdoor pool. It was later than I wanted so I only had 40 min to swim. I cut out kicking and sprints at the end but was happy to get the main set and cool down done. The 300’s were about 3 sec/100 yd slower than last week. Kind of expected immediately following a track workout.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Good timing for a day off on a work trip. It was weird to travel without running clothes! Flight home was diverted to DC and delayed 4+ hours, but at least I made it home!


  • Plan: 2:20 Run + 2900 Swim
  • Actual: 17M @ 8:16 avg.

Took Walter for 5, then headed south for an out and back. Just really solid long run miles. I started conservative and finished feeling good with last 4 sub-8:10 and last mile 7:53.

Cut out the swim, thinking my body would be better off resting for the race than swimming after running 17 miles. Instead spent the entire day on the couch cuddling wit this guy.

photo 2 (25)


  • Plan: 2:00 Ride + 45 min Easy Run
  • Actual: 35.85M @ 17.5 mph + 3.64M @ 8:14 

The original training plan had a 2:30 ride on the schedule, but last year I remember feeling really tired the week of the race after doing such a long ride the weekend before. The first 20 miles of the ride were miserable. I just couldn’t get comfortable in the saddle for some reason. I finally found a groove for the last 15 or so miles.

photo 1 (22)

#seenonmyride at Belmont Harbor


I got back from the ride and immediately took a 2.5 hour nap. Like heaven. When I woke up, Jenny came over and we did an easy run together. I cut mine back to 30 minutes, also in an effort to not wear myself out for the upcoming week.


  • Swim: 4800 yds
  • Bike: 87 miles
  • Run: 51 miles
  • Time: 13 hours 30 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, Ernie, family, running, swimming, training, triathlon, walter, weekly recap, work travel | Leave a comment

Starting Slow & Finishing Strong

3 weeks until USAT Nationals & 12 weeks until Chicago Marathon

At the end of the big week last week, I was happy with how my body responded to a build from marathon and tri training. Going into this week I was a bit nervous that I would feel the affects of the volume. Early in the week, my legs felt shot, but after a rest day mid-week, I felt really strong in the second half.


  • Plan: Tempo Run: 3-4M @ 7:05 – 7:15 + 2500 Swim
  • Actual: 8M @ 7:55 avg. + 2500 Swim (main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 8×100 VO2 max)

My instructions for the run were to not attempt the 4th tempo mile “unless you feel like a million bucks”. In my head, I was convinced that I would do the 4th mile, but I promised myself that I would really try to be smart. By mile 2.5, I knew that it wasn’t even borderline. It was warm and humid and I did NOT feel like a million bucks. In fact, the tank was damn near empty, so I pushed the last half mile and called it at 3: 7:13, 7:09, 7:05. Since I ran north planning for 4 tempo miles, I had the choice of doing an extra long cool down or walking the rest of the way home after a 20 min. cool down. I decided to walk it in and while I hated going for the lower range (I NEVER do), I have to respect that I rode and swam long the day before and my body can only give so much.

I had a surprisingly productive workday {considering it was Monday and my motivation was lacking} then went to the outdoor pool for the 6 p.m. lap swim time. It was a perfectly warm night for a swim and even though the pool was fairly crowded, it felt really good to be in the water. Have I mentioned that I love swimming outdoors?


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 1:10 Easy Run +1:25 Ride w/30′ Tempo
  • Actual: Strength + 8.4M @ 8:20 + 22.75M @ 16.6 mph

It took all the motivation I had to force myself to do my strength routine before this run. With increased volume in workouts, I find myself just wanting to get out and get it done. Walter went with me for 3 miles, but it was really hot and humid so I took him back. Not sure if it was the temps or I needed a rest day but my legs were dead.

I scratched the tempo portion of the ride before I even started. My legs were already tired in the morning and I just didn’t think it made sense to push them. For it being the warmest day of the year so far, the path at lunchtime was surprisingly not AS BAD as it could have been. But I am constantly surprised how there can be a headwind in both directions in this city.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Rest days are KING in triathlon training. I was counting down the workouts to this one and took full advantage of sleeping in and being lazy.


  • Plan: Speed Workout: 6×800 @ 3:20 + 2700 Swim
  • Actual: 7.7M @ 7:47 + 2700 Swim (main set: 5×300, 4×50 sprint)

After a couple of not-so-stellar runs earlier in the week, I was hoping the rest day would turn things around. The day off definitely helped, but so did the cooler temps that showed up. It was mid-60’s and low humidity at 7:30 a.m. when I went to the track. Repeats: 3:13, 3:15, 3:15, 3:15, 3:14, 3:15. All I could think about was how Coach was going to kill me for running these WAY too fast. I really was trying to manage the pace and keep every 200 around 50 seconds. The problem was when I tried to pick it up in the last 200-300 to negative split, I ended up way too fast. But it felt smooth and controlled and my legs were recovering on the rest intervals. Oops?

An outdoor swim at lunch on an absolutely beautiful sunny day. The best.


  • Plan: Brick: 1:30 Ride + 45 min – 1:00 Easy Run 
  • Actual: 26M @ 17.3 mph + 7.25M @ 8:18 

This week had a brick instead of a long bike ride and I needed to do it Friday because Sunday was an off day for running. I also had an 8 a.m. meeting that I had to be back in time for. This meant I had to be riding as soon as it was semi-light outside. I rode out at 5:05 and was rewarded with a stunning sunrise over the lake. There was slightly more traffic than the same route on a Sunday morning (to be expected) but it wasn’t bad. I was worried how my legs would feel off the bike, so I was surprised to feel really fresh and the hour run flew by.

photo 1 (21)

The views make 4:30 wake-ups worth it.

photo 2 (24)

Taking pics at 17 mph makes them blurry :)


  • Plan: 1:45 Hilly Run + 2250 Swim
  • Actual: 13.1M @ 8:03 

Chanthana, Jeff and I went to the Arboretum to run hills. We started around 8 a.m. and the air was cool but it was still super humid. Jeff and I ended up staying together for almost the entire run and only split up at the very end because he was going 15 min longer than me. Despite staying out until midnight and eating a burger for dinner at 10 p.m., I felt really, really good. Jeff and I both kept blaming each other for running faster than we planned, but finally decided that we were both pulling at different points.

After the run, Chanthana, Jenny and Manny came over to use the recovery boots and we hung out in the afternoon. I would much rather have been doing that than swimming :)


  • Plan: 1:30 Steady State Ride
  • Actual: 25.2M @ 16.6 mph

I woke up really not wanting to ride. I was just tired and my head really wasn’t in it. Once I got out there, it wasn’t that bad, but I was very happy that it was a short one and done. I should have gone to swim (the one I skipped from Saturday) right after, but I decided to shower and do the swim after the Cubs game instead. Of course, a margarita at the game and sitting out in the sun all afternoon led to an evening on the couch with sushi instead. Such is training sometimes.


  • Swim: 5200 yds
  • Bike: 74 miles
  • Run: 44 miles
  • Time: 12 hours 0 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, family, running, swimming, the lake, training, Travel, triathlon, walter, weekly recap | Leave a comment

Friday Fun XI

I was really on a roll with these posts last spring and somehow just managed to completely forget about them this summer. I love doing them though so Friday Fun is back (for this week)!

  1. Healthy. This might not be the first time I have talked about this, but I MUST bring it up again. After 2+ years of constant glute/hamstring discomfort, I am finally running completely pain free (*knock on wood*). It was one of those nagging non-injuries that never got worse and I had just accepted as part of running. I maintained it with ART and constantly sitting on a TP Therapy ball, but I thought it would always be there as an annoying reminder of my week hips and glutes. Finally, after working really hard on strengthening and activating my glutes this winter then recovering properly post Boston (thanks Coach!), the nagging sensation is 100% gone. It makes running SO much more enjoyable. 
  2. Pool Situation. Last summer I struggled with my swimming motivation. The only pool I had access to (that I knew of) was the UIC pool during Master’s. I had to drive 20 min and be there by 6 a.m. (or 6 p.m.) and do the group workout. Because of the lack of flexibility, I was lucky if I got in 2 swims a week. After talking to a few people and doing some research, I have a much better swimming situation this summer. I have 2 gym options: One is right across the street but only 20 yds. As much as it sucks, it has been mighty convenient when there wasn’t time or transportation to go elsewhere. The other gym option is an awesome 25 meter pool that is about a 15 min drive. But my favorite is the pool at Holstein Park. It is 50 yards and it is OUTSIDE. I actually get really excited about swimming there and I really think it has helped me get my swimming fitness to a better place this year. pool
  3. Taper Approaching. I have talked a little in my weekly recaps about how crazy it feels sometimes that I am overlapping my Chicago Marathon training and training for Age Group Nationals. Last week I hit 13+ hours, which was basically on the high end of where I was with my last 70.3 training cycle. Nuts. BUT only one more big week and then I will have a one week taper for Nationals. I am really, really excited to race 2 weeks from tomorrow! I feel good about some of the quality swims and rides this summer and since I got speedy carbon wheels, I am hoping that will help too :)
  4. Fish Bar. This is one of my very favorite restaurants in my neighborhood and Chanthana I have been saying we wanted to go here together for a while now. We went last night and had delicious seafood, good cocktails and lots of laughs. All while sitting outside on a gorgeous Chicago evening. Can’t beat it.
  5. Tri Shorts. Last summer I bought my first true triathlon kit from Soas.

    This one. (And yes, since I paid for these race pics, I will plaster them here whenever possible.)

    I absolutely LOVE it, especially the shorts. But I don’t wear it to train in because I like having something special for race days. Since my favorite black tri shorts finally got too see through to wear (I should have retired them a year ago), I bought another pair of Soas shorts last week. I love the length, fit, style, chamois thickness. Everything. I find myself reaching for them on every ride now.


    In Action.

  6. Cherries. The cherries this summer  have been amazing. Huge, firm, super sweet and delicious. I have been going through a huge bag of them about once a week.
  7. Hillz. You might remember that this spring Jenny, Chanthana and I spent many Saturday mornings in the Chicago ‘burbs running on hills to prep for Boston. Our last run out there way back in early April (??) and I miss running there with my girls. CT, Jeff and I are finally going back out tomorrow for a hilly run. It will be weird to not have to contend with ice and the snow covered fields will be replaced with green plants and flowers. It will be a like whole different experience. I am also anxious to see if all the hilly running I was doing in Virginia has paid off!
  8. Naps. When training starts to ramp up and the heat forces early morning training, I can hardly make it through a Saturday or Sunday without a nap. There is nothing I love more than coming home after a long workout, showering, eating (not always in that order), then falling asleep for a few hours on the couch. And this is yet another reason why I don’t have children.

I think that’s all folks! What’s making everyone else happy this fine summer Friday?!

Posted in bike, Chicago, Ernie, Food, Friday Fun, friends, life, Races, running, Strength Training, swimming, the boys, training, triathlon, walter, workout clothes | 3 Comments


4 weeks until USAT Nationals & 13 weeks until Chicago Marathon

I knew with overlapping training cycles, that there would be weeks where the volumes of both were building. I knew it would be tough, but hoped that my body would respond well. This was definitely one of those weeks, but I felt really good all the way through. I had some solid workouts in all three areas and finished the week tired, but feeling strong.


  • Plan: Tempo Run w/3M @ 7:05 – 7:15 + 1:15 Steady State Ride
  • Actual: 7.9M @ 7:51 avg. + 20M @ 16.9 mph

I got up early with the intention of doing both the run and ride before my 9 a.m. meeting. My legs felt dead to start the tempo, but after a mile or so they woke up and felt great. During the tempo miles I felt like I was pushing, but when I asked my body for a little more, it was there: 7:14, 7:06, 7:01. 

I will pretend that I was really smart and didn’t leave for my ride after eating breakfast because I knew that the sky was going to open up and dump on us. In reality, I just didn’t feel like riding right away and I was already showered and laying back in bed when it started pouring. I ended up riding after my lunch time teleconference and apparently the showers in the morning scared all the people away because the path was eerily empty for a beautiful sunny afternoon. Riding “steady state” on the Lakefront is tricky because all of the hazards (i.e. ignorant people) but I tried to give as much effort as I am comfortable with and still feel safe.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 1:00 Easy Run +2500 Swim
  • Actual: Strength + 7.1M @ 8:28 avg. + 2700 Swim (main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 8×100 VO2 Max w/1′ RI)

Woah, fall in July?! It was 57 when I left for the run at 7:30 a.m. No complaints here! Walter went with me for the first 5.5 then I dropped him off and finished up.

I worked the rest of the day then headed to the pool around 3:30. The sky was threatening rain all day so I had decided that going indoors was the best option. Was hoping for a little more pool magic like Sunday but this swim felt blah and hard.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Sleeping until 8 a.m. was glorious and this complete rest day felt long overdue.


  • Plan: Speed Workout: 2-3x1M @ 6:40 (or below) w/ 1:45 – 2:00 rest, & focus on negative split + 2700 Swim 1:20 Ride w/28′ Tempo
  • Actual: 8M @ 7:51 + 23M Ride @ 18.6 mph

This was by far the best mile repeat workout I have ever done. I warmed up and cooled down in the park behind the track (I love this option!) and made a pitstop in the grossest porta potty I have ever experienced. That part aside, it was a perfect day: cool with low humidity and I felt really, really good. Repeats: 6:34, 6:34, 6:32, all with the second 800 4-8 seconds faster than the first.


Mandatory track picture. I love this place.

I was originally planning to do this ride on Friday, but since I had to be in Peoria for a meeting Friday morning, I took my bike with me and rode Thursday evening. I try to take advantage of any chance to ride on country roads instead of the Lakefront Path. I cut out the tempo since I did a workout in the morning. I am reminded how much I truly love to ride when I am outside of the city.


Corn fields & country roads make for a good riding backdrop.


  • Plan: 45 min – 1:00 Easy Run + 1:20 Ride w/28′ Tempo 2700 Swim
  • Actual: 7.25M @ 8:19 avg. + 2450 Swim (main set: 5×300, 4×50 sprint)

Man, it was tough to get out of bed for this one. I had to get up at 5:15 to get the run done and be at my 8 a.m. meeting on time and despite 7 hours of sleep, it was rough. Once I finally dragged myself outside, it was so very worth it. Nice cool morning and my legs came alive right away.

I had meetings all morning, then lunch with the in-laws before heading back to Chicago. The drive took WAY longer than it should have because of traffic in in the city. Once I got home, I briefly considered skipping the swim since the last thing I really wanted to do was get back in the car and drive somewhere. But it was a beautiful day and I knew the outdoor swim would feel good after sitting in the car for 4 hours. It ended up being a great swim, but I had to cut it slightly short because the pool was closing.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 2:00 Run 
  • Actual: 15M @ 8:12 avg.

I got up a little before 6 when Brad left to go to his golf tournament. I skipped strength because I knew it would be getting hotter by the minute and I just wanted to get started. Took Walter for 4, then finished up the rest. I focused on better pacing since I ran out of gas in the end last week. First 5: nothing faster than 8:20, Next 5: nothing faster than 8:10 and last 5: 7:50-8:10. It worked and I felt strong at the end.


All the drinks for my ice bath: Nuun, Protein Shake, Hot Apple Cider


  • Plan: 2:30 Ride + 2800 Open Water Swim 
  • Actual: 44.4M @ 17.7 mph + 2900 OWS @ 1:27/100 yd

I took Brad to the train at 5:15 for an early flight so I left to ride as soon as I got back. I love going that early on Sunday mornings because I beat traffic on the city roads and the whole ride is more peaceful. Every time I ride north on Sundays I am reminded how much I truly love being on my bike. The time flew by and my legs felt really good.

photo 1 (20)

The view from my saddle.

After the ride, I ate and changed then went down to Ohio Street Beach to swim. I usually bike there, but decided to drive since I had just ridden nearly 45 miles. I wasn’t sure what the parking situation would be (it’s $25 flat rate at Navy Pier) but I was able to park on the street for $4/hr and it was a short 3 min. walk over to the beach. I felt like a sloppy mess on the swim and when boats would come in and out I was bobbing around like crazy, but my average was surprisingly good (only 1 sec/100 yd slower than my race pace at Nationals last year). I’ll take it.

photo 2 (23)

Ohio Street Beach


  • Swim: 8100 yds
  • Bike: 87 miles
  • Run: 45 miles
  • Time: 13 hours 20 min. (<– maybe a little overkill for Olympic Distance training…)
Posted in bike, Chicago, family, running, swimming, the lake, training, Travel, triathlon, walter, weekly recap | 4 Comments

Chasing PR’s

There was a stretch of time a couple of years ago where I PR’d every time I raced. I was chipping away at older times in just about every distance, including varying triathlon distances. I was doing more focused speed work (running and on the bike) and putting in slightly more mileage. I also started to gain some confidence and set bigger goals. I don’t think I was doing anything special. I just think consistently breaking PR’s tends to happen as people start to get faster and a little more serious about training (especially if they don’t race frequently).

lungs 4 life 2

Finishing my first sub-21:00 5k in 2012.


And that all came to a very abrupt halt when I experienced the disaster that was the Eugene Marathon. I poured my heart into that training cycle and was pretty devastated in the outcome.


The final 200m in Eugene.

After the race someone (I think Jocelyn?) said to me, “I know you are disappointed, but when was the last time you didn’t PR?” I stopped and thought for a second and I truly couldn’t remember the last time I had raced and not PR’d.

And that was a pretty big wake-up call.

I was thrilled beyond belief when I got marathon redemption 5 weeks later in Bayshore, but that was the last time I PR’d in ANYTHING. In the last 14 months, I have had two good 5k races (in an untimed race and a short course), but no legitimate, official PR’s.


Hero’s 5k in Greenville that was actually 2.9 miles.

It’s not that every race has been a disappointment. In New York, on a training cycle that was interrupted by injury, I ran a smart race that I was very proud of. And two weeks ago, I rode my fastest bike split ever in a triathlon.

photo 5 (1)

NYC was also the most fun I have ever had running a marathon.

Those things are great but…I just really want to PR.

I realize that there comes a point in racing that it just doesn’t happen as frequently as it did before, but then what? I am not sure if I have hit a plateau that I will eventually come out of or if I have just kind of hit the threshold of my ability? Or maybe I just have had combination of infrequent racing and bad luck?

I do believe that I have a faster marathon time in me and I have had some great training gains over the last year, but it’s disappointing that a year has gone by and I am still shooting for the same goals.

I am not really sure what the point here is, but I have spent some time thinking about this lately and thought it could be an interesting discussion. For now, I think my solution is to just put my head down and keep training hard. I get a chance to try to break 2:20 in the Olympic distance triathlon in 3.5 weeks and then another crack at the marathon in October. In the meantime, I am curious to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic? Has anyone else experienced this? Any words of wisdom?


Posted in bike, Goals, injuries, Races, running, training, triathlon | 11 Comments

Swim/Bike & Run Balance

5 weeks until USAT Nationals & 14 weeks until Chicago Marathon

I had a small build week for running this week, but it was a cutback in volume for swimming and biking. I didn’t necessarily plan this, but it worked out well. There were definitely some running highs and lows, but by Sunday my legs felt great, even at the end of my first 40-mile week of the training cycle.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

I thought about trying to get one last ride done in the hills and open roads in Virginia (vs. flat, city riding back home) but I felt like my body needed rest more than anything. I slept in until 7:30 (heaven after so many dark-o-clock wake-ups in a row!).


  • Plan: 1:00 Progression Run + 1925 Swim
  • Actual: 7.45M @ 8:05 + 1820 Swim (main set: 6×100 w/5″ RI, 7×80 VO2 Max w/45″ RI)

I flew home from Virginia on Tuesday morning but wanted to get my run in before I left. This would be my last run on hills and unfortunately the heat and humidity showed back up again too. The instructions were to pick it up to a “natural uptempo” during the last 15 – 20 minutes. It ended up being a nearly ideal progression for the whole run: 8:35, 8:29, 8:25, 8:20, 8:14 (.75), 7:39, 7:30, 7:14 (0.70).

I slept from take-off to landing (yes!) then went home, dropped my stuff and went to the 20 yd indoor pool at my gym. I don’t like swimming there, but it’s better than no swim at all, which was my only other option with meetings all afternoon and a hair cut appt. in the evening.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 1:00 Easy Run + 1:15 Easy Ride
  • Actual: Strength + 7.15M @ 8:23 + 20.2M @ 16.1 mph

Thanks to my body still thinking I am in Virginia, I was wide awake at 6:15. I putzed around the house a bit, then finally did my strength stuff and ran around 7:20. It was warm and humid but after running on hills for a week, the flat Lakefront felt easy! After the run I stretched and changed then did some work before heading out to ride just before lunch. All was going well until I got to my turnaround point and hit a dip in the path and got a flat. Thankfully it was the front tire (no greasy hands!) and minus struggling with my stupid CO2, it was pretty easy. I got it changed in ~10 min and headed home.

lakefront path

Beautiful day on the path. Ironically I took this pic before the turnaround and this is nearly the exact spot I realized I had a flat on the way back!


  • Plan: Tempo Run w/2M @ 7:05-7:15 + 2100 Swim
  • Actual: 6.9M @ 7:56 + 2100 Swim (main set: 6×200, 2×50 sprint)

I think I went into this run a little dehydrated. I felt fine at the start, but my legs never really woke up and I got really thirsty and sluggish toward the end. I gave myself a few pep talks during the tempo miles and was thankful it was only two: 7:08, 7:06.

Lunch time swim at my favorite outdoor pool.



  • Plan: 1:05 Easy Ride
  • Actual: 18M @ 16.8 mph

It is amazing how much better riding on the Lakefront is when I do it at 6:30 a.m. I miss the open (smooth) roads in Virginia, but this really wasn’t that bad.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 1:45 Run + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: Strength + 13M @ 8:10

The first 4 miles of this run felt terrible. I was light headed and had zero energy (despite getting a ton of sleep, eating a banana and drinking water & juice pre-run). When I brought Walter back to drop him off after those first 4 miles, I ate half a picky bar and drank half a bottle of Nuun before heading back out. That helped tremendously, but as I headed out, the rain started. It had been really humid during the first part of the run and now it was just a complete downpour. But for some reason the harder it rained, the better I felt. It was much cooler and I couldn’t have been more wet if I jumped in the lake. It pretty much poured like that for the remaining 9 miles. I felt great until the last mile or so, when I paid for the 8:00-8:05 pace I was running during the worst of the rain. I struggled hard in the last few minutes and then was completely wiped out when  I was done. Two naps and many hours of couch time later I knew a swim wasn’t happening.


  • Plan: Brick: 1:30 Ride + 30-45 min Easy Run
  • Actual: Brick: 27M @ 17.2 mph + 5.5M @ 8:11 + 2600 Swim (main set: 1800 straight swim)

After being totally wiped out Saturday and then staying out well past midnight, I thought this workout would be a complete bust. But I woke up on my own at 6:30 feeling great. ate breakfast and rode out by 7. The ride up Sheridan road was lovely (it always is on Sundays!) and running off the bike felt fantastic. I felt like I could have run forever. Endorphins for days.

After the brick, I ate breakfast, changed and headed to the pool for a swim. On my way to the gym, I was kicking myself for not going to the lake for an open water swim. It was a beautiful day with low wind which would have been perfect, but once I got there, I ended up having the best swim I have had in a long time. I haven’t had that “effortlessly gliding through the water” feeling in the pool in probably 2 years. And it felt AMAZING for it to be back. I hope that means I am having a little breakthrough with swimming for the season.


  • Swim: 6565 yds
  • Bike: 65 miles
  • Run: 40 miles
  • Time: 11 hours 10 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, family, running, swimming, the lake, training, Travel, triathlon, walter, weekly recap | 1 Comment

Easy Miles

6 weeks until USAT Nationals & 15 weeks until Chicago Marathon

After Sunday’s race, nearly all of the running and riding miles last week were of the “easy” variety. Since my yardage in the pool has been so low lately, I did push the swims a bit. I figured I could handle a little more intensity on the swims and still get the recovery I needed.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

My abs were really sore where I had the cramp during the run the day before and I felt generally tired. This complete rest day was needed.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 50 min – 1:00 Easy Run + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: Strength + 7.2M @ 8:23 + 2300 Swim (Main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 7×100 VO2 Max w/30″ RI)

I did my strength workout and then headed out around 7 a.m. I felt really sluggish to start the run, but once I got going it turned out to be a really good shake-out from the weekend. Walter went for the first 4 miles and then I dropped him off since it was so hot and humid. I finished sweaty and happy.

I finally had the chance to go to the outdoor pool at Holstein Park! It is a 50 yd pool and wasn’t very crowded at all. I LOVE swimming in long course, outdoor pools. They have lap swimming in the mornings and 12-1 on weekdays, but I got there around 12:15 so I had to get out before finishing my cool down. No big deal…I was happy to finish the rest of the workout just in time!


It is 8 lanes across, but they only had lane ropes in every other lane. Plenty of space for everyone though!


  • Plan: 1:00 Easy Run + 1:15 Easy Ride
  • Actual: 6.4M @ 8:16 + 20.2M Ride @ 16.1 mph + 0.8M @ 8:18 

Three cheers for a random cool, low humidity morning! I was running a little late to get back before my 8 a.m. meeting so Walter and I finished the first part of the run in about 53 min and I tacked on the remainder of the run after the bike to make it a (very) short brick. I rode at lunch hoping to beat the majority of the Lakefront Beach crowds and it was pretty successful. It was still a little crowded but nothing like last Friday’s debacle.

The last thing I wanted to do was run after the ride (hello…it was LUNCHTIME) but it was a quick {less than a} mile. It’s probably not a bad idea to get more of these short bricks in so my legs get used to transitioning to the run.


  • Plan: Strength Routine + 1:00 Easy Run + 2500 Swim
  • Actual: Strength + 7.2M @ 8:21 + 2500 Swim (main set: 7×200, 2×50 sprint)

Walter threw up a few times Wednesday night so I ran solo. I hated not being able to take him since it was another cool day, but he needed to rest. I wanted to be out running by 6:20 so I could get back and to the pool before the morning lap swim was over. I felt a little sluggish for most of the run, but the swim in the bright morning sun and cool water felt really nice.

That afternoon we flew to Virginia to spend the long weekend weekend at The Greenbriar and the lake.


  • Plan: 1:30 Easy Ride
  • Actual: 20M @ 16.4 mph

First chance to get out on my new bike! I got a Felt Z6, similar to the bike that got stolen to keep in Virginia since we have been spending so much time there. The riding is relentlessly hilly, but having a road bike makes it much more manageable than my tri bike. I cut this ride a little short because I had to squeeze it in early before we left to go to The Greenbriar.

I spent the rest of the day with this view. Those two cuties are my little water baby nieces.



  • Plan: 1:30 Run w/Fast Finish + 2700 Swim
  • Actual: 11.1M @ 8:06 + 2200 Swim (main set: 1500 straight swim)

The hotel had trail maps for hiking that I thought would be my best option for running. Unfortunately after about 2.5 miles the hiking trails were not runnable at all. I hiked up a bit hoping it would flatten out, but eventually had to take a steep road back down. Once I came down, I found that the road circling the hotel was a nice rolling loop with minimal traffic and I was able to add on the rest of the miles with out an and back into town. It was in the low 50’s and I felt great for a majority of this run, but during the last 1/2 mile of the fast finish, I hit a wall. I didn’t eat or drink anything before or during the run and when I came to a hill going back into the hotel, my body was done. The fast finish miles were 7:42, 7:34, 7:45, but I had to stop and rest with 2:30 left in the 3rd mile before finishing.

My second dumb move was to shower quickly then head to the pool right away. Still without eating. The hotel has a beautiful 30 m indoor pool, but the water was WARM (like 80 degrees) and there was no way I could finish the whole swim. My head was hurting and I was starting to feel really blech. I finally called it when I got to 1500 for the straight swim and cooled down before FINALLY getting some food with Brad’s family.


  • Plan: 45 min Easy Run + 2:15 Ride
  • Actual: 5.3M @ 8:27 avg. + 33M Ride @ 15.5 mph

I was definitely feeling my little 1/2 mile down the steep hill from Saturday at the beginning of this run. I started really slow, but eventually everything loosened up and I enjoyed another really cool morning and a brilliant sunrise.

After the run I ate quickly (lesson learned) then headed out on the bike. I was actually cold for the first half hour of the ride and feeling a little unmotivated. It was beautiful out, but the hills felt like they just wouldn’t quit and I was kind of over it. The last 10 miles was much better and I was able to finally manage some decent splits (relative to the <15 mph splits from the first 10 miles). I was definitely ready to be done and completely relax for the rest of the day.


Pictures never do justice to how pretty the views are on this ride.


  • Swim: 7000 yds
  • Bike: 73 miles
  • Run: 38 miles
  • Time:11 hours 45 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, family, running, swimming, the lake, training, Travel, triathlon, walter, weekly recap | 4 Comments