USAT Nationals Week 7: Building

5 weeks until USAT Nationals

Technically this week was supposed to be a recovery week for swimming and biking, but since the week before last was a bit of a recovery week because of missed workouts, I decided to switch some things around with my plan a little. That sets things up to back-off the volume a little next week for a little tune-up race!


  • Plan: 3-4M Alternating Tempo: 6:55, 7:15, 6:55, 7:15 (optional)
  • Actual: 7.4M @ 7:52 avg. w/ tempo: 6:57, 7:15, 6:55

I am not going to lie…I was scared of this workout. My tempos have not been going well lately and I wasn’t sure if I had a sub-7 mile in me. And it was HARD, but I am really happy with how it went. This is the first time in a long time that a 7:15 mile felt like a pace I could maintain, rather than an all out sprint. Definite progress.

Instead of swimming after work, I took the dogs on a fun little off-leash beach adventure. Walter played in the water and Ernie acted like the nut that he is.

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Rolling in the sand.


  • Plan: 1:00 Bike w/22 min @ tempo + 2125 Swim
  • Actual: 18.5M @ 18.5 mph w/tempo: 21.2 mph + 2150 m Swim (main set: 6×100 w/5″ RI, 7×75 w/45″ RI)

I really wanted to push the pace to at least 21 mph on the tempo portion and I am happy with being just over that, especially with some wind at various points. It is really, really hard to imagine holding a faster pace than this for 24+ miles in a mere 5 weeks.

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Bike lane, tree lined streets, smooth road. Heaven.

After work swim. Definitely doing a better job of pushing myself in the pool lately. But I really, really miss my outdoor lunch swims from last summer!


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Sleep, errands, rest. I never look forward to rest days as much as I do during triathlon training.


  • Plan: Speed work w/1-2x1M @ “feel” + 2700 Swim
  • Actual: 6.5M @ 7:50 w/repeats: 6:31, 6:30 + 2500 m Swim (main set: 5×300 + 12×25)

The first mile repeat felt awesome. I cruised through it and even felt like I was holding back a little. I didn’t fully recover with only 1:45 rest in between and the 2nd repeat felt hard in the first 200. It was overcast and not super hot, but really humid so the air felt too thick to breath at times. I was happy that it didn’t seem to get progressively harder to maintain the effort – it just kind of stayed hard but my pace didn’t drop off and I squeaked in a little faster than the first.

I swam after work and toward the end of the 25’s my calfs were cramping every time I pushed off the wall so I decided to skip the 200 of kicking. My legs were clearly done.


  • Plan: 1:15 Steady State Ride
  • Actual: 20.8M @ 18 mph (1:10)

Nice little early morning sping. Gotta love a solid head wind for the middle portion of the ride. It definitely gets the legs working.


  • Plan: 1:45 Run + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: ~12.7M @ 8:17ish pace

I met Kris & Megan Saturday morning to run the first half of their 12-miler with them. It was SO awesome to finally meet Kris and I am double lucky to get to meet Megan that day too. They both had marathon pace miles on the return through the park, so I ran back solo then met Megan at the farmer’s market. This was by far the strongest long run I have had since I got to Virginia. Confidence and acclimation to the heat are definitely {finally} coming back.


Borrowed from Kris’ Instagram.

It poured down rain all day Saturday after the run. (Maybe that’s why it was so effing humid???) so I didn’t get a chance to swim.


  • Plan: 2:30 Ride 
  • Actual: 46M Bike @ 18.4 mph

Another awesome Sunday morning solo bike. I try to get up and on the road by 6:15 and feel like I basically have the streets to myself. I used to dread solo rides, but these last several in Virginia Beach have been awesome. There was a bit of a headwind going East and North, but I try to remind myself that it is a good substitute for having hills to ride.

It was a much nicer day so we spent some time at the beach, but it was windy (and I was lazy) so I never got out for an open water swim all weekend. womp.


  • Swim: 4650 meters 
  • Bike: 85 miles 
  • Run: 27 miles
  • Time: 9 hours 40 min.
Posted in bike, Goals, running, swimming, training, triathlon, Weather, weekly recap | 4 Comments

Shout Out: Seacret Minerals from the Dead Sea

Way back in early February when we were still dealing with the frozen tundra of Chicago winter, we spent Super Bowl weekend snowed in at our friends, Eric and Shannon’s house.


The aftermath of the snowstorm in Eric & Shannon’s backyard.

While we were there, Shannon and I talked about the new venture that she was taking on. She had recently been introduced to Seacret skin care and beauty products by a friend and fell in love with not only the products themselves, but also the story behind the company. She quickly decided to become an agent so she could share her love of the products with her friends, family and community. As the winter ended and spring came around, Shannon decided to leave her steady, (but not fulfilling) marketing job to sell Seacret products full-time (while also raising her two incredibly smart and funny daughters).

Minerals From The Dead Sea

In an effort to give me the chance to experience what it is that she likes so much, Shannon sent me an awesome sample kit with individual notes on the products and tips on when and how to use them. This is what she said about the company (which I thought was perfectly stated): “What is unique about Seacret is that it combines Nature and Technology to deliver optimal results. All of the products contain minerals from the Dead Sea and are hypo-allergenic, paraben and sls free. Seacret does not use animal products nor are they tested on animals.”

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Super organized and complete with applicators and cotton balls!

Shannon knew that I already have a skin care regimen that I am happy with and did a really great job at sharing products that could supplement that and also would be good for my super active lifestyle.

Over the next several weeks I tried out the samples and definitely found some that I loved and some that I thought would be nice-to-have (depending on the cost).

What I loved:

  1. The Mud Shampoo & Mud Conditioner. Not only did I absolutely LOVE the smell of this when I was using it, every time I got a little whiff of my hair over the next 24-hours, I could still smell it. I like a shampoo that gets nice and sudsy with a small amount and I was impressed that the small little sample was plenty for one washing. My hair also felt super soft and (most important for me), the conditioner did an excellent job at detangling the rat’s nest that is my hair after a run. I have been wishing that I had some of this since then and I JUST finally placed an order for a full bottle of the shampoo this week! 
  2. Body Lotion. I really liked the body lotion. The smell is amazing and the smooth, creamy texture was an improvement over my normal drug store products. My skin used to get really, really dry in Chicago winters and this definitely helped with that after using it just a few times. I only wished I had more! (And I should very soon, since I also ordered this.) {The Body Butter is also amazing. It had the same great smell, but a thicker texture than the lotion. I would (and did) choose the butter or lotion and probably not necessarily buy both.}
  3. Foot cream. As a runner, my feet get gross, dried out and cracked, especially in the colder months. The Seacret foot cream rubbed in really easily, had a nice, fresh smell  and I definitely noticed that my feet felt soft all day that day and the next after using it.

Other interesting products:

  1. Magnetic Mud Mask. This was super cool because it applied very easily and then actually used a magnet (provided by Shannon) to take off! It came off super clean with no water, which is completely different than most mud masks. My face felt amazing after using it. The one thing I wasn’t crazy about was the metallic smell that it left on my skin. I would use this again for sure, but I didn’t buy it because I find that I tend to invest in things like this and then forget to use them since they aren’t part of my regular routine.FullSizeRender (73)
  2. Men’s products. Shannon also sent several items over for Brad to use. He really liked the products (but I couldn’t convince him to guest blog!). He said they were high quality, but also liked that they were specifically for men. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like many of the higher quality skin care products are targeted toward women so he liked that these were made for men.

There are a ton of other face and skincare products that I haven’t tried since Shannon tried to design my samples to supplement my current routine. I did add the daily facial cleanse to my recent order because I want a good gentle cleanser to put in my swim bag for when I shower at the pool. As for my other normal face products…changing things up could lead to good results, so I may try some other things if I like the facial cleanser. I am a creature of habit and like what I have, but it’s possible I could like new stuff even more!

I found that the pricing on these products is similar to what you would expect for special beauty products (i.e. Rodan + Fields or any department store-type products). But if you typically shop at a drug store, you will find them to be more expensive. You do get a pretty great deal when you bundle 3 items together (up to 60% discount) so that’s why I ordered a few extra things. Shannon is also offering a free gift to anyone who orders products within 2 weeks of this post!

To order with the bundle: Visit the website (This links to Shannon’s site) –> click on “Become a VIP Customer” –> “Bundle & Save” –> “Build your own bundle” (and make sure to put the 3 most expensive items in the 1st three spots to get the biggest savings). It will ask you for the frequency for replenishment (30, 60 or 90 days), but you can log back in after you finish your order and cancel any future ones if you don’t want them.

Let me know if you have any questions. I am a big product person so I like to read and learn about new stuff without having to do a whole lot of research. So I am happy to share my thoughts!

It should be said that Shannon did provide the samples to me for free and we agreed that I would blog about the products I liked (or didn’t!). But these are definitely my honest opinions and while I definitely want to support Shannon and hope her business is super successful, I would only make recommendations that I felt like I can truly stand behind! 

Posted in Chicago, friends, Shout Out, training | Leave a comment

USAT Nationals Week 6: Best Week Yet!

7 weeks until USAT Nationals

This week was almost the exact opposite of the previous week. I was able to get in all the workouts, including a legit (for me) long bike AND and open water swim! And maybe, just maybe I am starting to adjust to the heat and humidity because I finally saw the runs turn around a little too.


  • Plan: 1:30 Bike w/5×5′ Hill Climbs
  • Actual: 20.1M Ride @ 17.1 mph (1:10) w/10×1′ Hill Climbs

Monday morning ride to start the week. A 5 minute hill climb in Virginia Beach is laughable. There isn’t anything even close. But after a nice warm-up, I did head over to a bridge near my house that gave me about a 1 minute hill climb and rode up and down it 10 times. Better than nothing?!


  • Plan: Tempo Run w/2-3M @ feel + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: 6.9M @ 8:06 w/tempo: 7:13, 7:13, 7:06 (avg. for 0.5M) + 2000 swim (main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 7×100)

I was tired of only being able to do 2 miles at tempo pace so even if it killed me I was going to try to squeeze in at least another 1/2 mile. It was tough, hot and pretty miserable, but on paper – the best tempo I have had since before Bayshore.

After work I was in a hurry to get the swim in before the US Women’s semi-final game so I skipped the drills and kicking and just did the warm-up, main set and cool down.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Sweet, sweet rest.


  • Plan: Speed work w/8-10×400 + 2500 Swim
  • Actual: 10.1M @ 8:23 avg w/400’s: 1:33, 1:35, 1:32, 1:36, 1:34, 1:32, 1:33, ? (forgot to lap), 1:33, 1:34 + 2300 Swim (main set: 7×200)

Track workout with my dear friend Jess. She was in town visiting with her family for the week and we met up at the track bright and early. It was so, so great seeing her and sharing the miles. Jess had 10×600’s so I ran the first lap with her on almost all of them. It was exactly the pull I needed to get me out of my running funk from the last few weeks. It was hard but we worked through them together and finally I felt really good in a workout. 

I swam after work and did the drills this time, but skipped the kicks since my legs were shot from the morning run.


  • Plan: 50 min – 1:00 Easy Run + 1:10 Ride w/9×1′ Speed intervals
  • Actual: ~6M, 50 min. + 21.7M @ 17.4 mph (1:15) w/intervals: 20.9, 21.2, 20.7, 21.7, 22.1, 18.0, 20.7, 20.4, 19.7

Nice and easy run with no Garmin. I am leaving it at home for easy runs since I don’t get good signals in the woods and also don’t really need to know my pace for these runs anyway.

I took the day off for the 4th and we had to make a day trip to Richmond. When we got back we did a little paddle boarding and laid on the beach. The ride was sorta hanging over my head the whole time and I really didn’t want to skip it so I pulled myself away to get it done before dinner. It actually went really well and I completely enjoyed it.


  • Plan: 2:15 Ride 1:30 Run
  • Actual: 11M @ 8:27 avg.

I originally planned to ride Saturday morning but when Jess texted that she was running long, I decided to switch things around so I could run with her. Getting more time to spend with Jess was incredible and I finally, finally had my first decent long run since I have been here!

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Taken from Jess’ Instagram. Trust me: No one wants to see our sweaty, tired selfie from after the run :)

We spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach for the 4th of July.


This beach path is about 15 steps from our driveway.


  • Plan: 1:30 Run 2:15 Ride + 1800 Swim
  • Actual: 40M @ 18.5 mph + ~1800 m OWS

After the fireworks and a long day at the beach, I decided not to set an alarm. Fortunately, I woke up naturally at 6 a.m. (what?!) and was on the bike by 6:45. This was awesome for beating the traffic and I had a really good ride around Virginia Beach. It once again reinforced how much better riding is here than in Chicago. I was definitely ready to be off the saddle by 40 miles (longest ride this year by 10+ miles), but my legs still felt strong.

I dragged myself out to the beach for an open water swim in the afternoon. I love swimming open water, but I was nervous since it was my first time here and I am also not used to the salt water. But it is super, super convienent since I can go in the bay right by my house. All was going well until right before the halfway mark and I got stung by a jellyfish!! Go figure in my first OWS.


The initial aftermath of the sting.


  • Swim: 6100 meters 
  • Bike: 82 miles 
  • Run: 34 miles
  • Time: 10 hours 50 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, Goals, life, Moving, running, swimming, training, Travel, triathlon, Weather, weekly recap | 3 Comments

USAT Nationals Week 5: Move Week #2 – Derailed

8 weeks until USAT Nationals

The final week of the move was not nearly as successful (from a workout standpoint) as the first week. In fact, the week was so busy that I never even really got around to planning out the workouts. So what you see for “plan” basically either came from Coach for the runs or was planned about 1/2 way through the week.


  • Plan: OFF (or maybe a swim?)
  • Actual: OFF

We got up Monday morning in Richmond and got to (finally!) pick up our boys then go by the new house and see the renovation progress. It felt so good to sleep until almost 8 a.m. and I hoped that I would have time for a swim that evening, but figured it would most likely be a rest day.


  • Plan: Tempo Run w/2-3M @ feel + Swim?
  • Actual: 6.5M @ 8:01 w/tempo: 7:17, 7:10

I got up early before our house closing in Virginia Beach and ran around a cemetery near our hotel. It was hot and humid (over 100 degrees later!) and pretty miserable. Once again, I called it at 2 miles on the tempo and didn’t try to push a 3rd. I just didn’t have it in me.

After the closing we were planning to spend the rest of the day moving in, but the moving trucks didn’t make it town with our stuff. We spent the day running other errands instead and there was never any down time to sneak away for a swim.


  • Plan: 1:30 Bike w/7×3′ VO2 Max Intervals OFF
  • Actual: Unplanned Rest

Since we didn’t have furniture, we were in a hotel again and I didn’t have easy access to ride or swim. I should have gotten up early and figured something out, but I didn’t and the day got away with unpacking so I didn’t do any workouts. 


  • Plan: 50 – 1:00 Run 1:30 Bike w/7×3′ VO2 Max Intervals + 2400 Swim 
  • Actual: 23.6M Ride @ 18.8 mph (1:15) w/intervals: 20.4, 21.3, 22.6, 21.9, 21.9, 22.5  

Finally a night in our house! I originally was supposed to run, but since I hadn’t biked all week, I decided to move the run to a brick on Saturday and get in a ride. I rode straight from home on the really awesome bike lane to and along the oceanfront. These intervals were WAY faster than a few weeks ago, but I attribute most of that to being on my tri bike and having no wind fighting me. This felt really, really good. 

I was all set to swim and even had Brad bring my stuff by the office so I could go straight from work. Then I got to the pool that evening and it was closed because of lightning. A look at the weather said it wasn’t going to stop any time soon and every sighting adds 30 min to the close time. Bummer.


  • Plan: Speed workout w/4×800 @ feel + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: 6.7M @ 8:10 w/800’s: 3:23, 3:20, 3:19, 3:16 + 2400 m Swim (main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 7×100 w/45″ RI)

After it rained all night, it was much, much cooler than the previous runs. There is a track exactly 1.8 miles from home so I ran over to the track for the workout. I knew I had negative split the 800’s but didn’t know the paces until I looked at the data later. I was pleasantly surprised after all the crappy runs in recent weeks. This was definitely more about waking up the legs a little than building speed, but I’ll take it!

I worked from home half a day since we had people scheduled to come to the house for various things. At 4, I finally pulled myself away and hit the pool. It felt good to be back in the water and I was surprised to not feel super sluggish after a week off swimming.


  • Plan: Brick: 1:30 Ride, 30 min Run + 2500 Swim
  • Actual: 29M Ride @ 19.1 mph (1:30) + 3.6M Run @ 8:24 avg.

I got up early to try to beat the rain that was forecasted for later. We also had several things we wanted to get done for the house that morning so I needed to get the workout done early. I felt GREAT on the bike. The route was perfect and I flew through it. Despite feeling great on the bike, my legs were dead after and I wasn’t excited to run. I took it super slow to start and sure enough my legs woke up and I had some nice negative splits: 8:45, 8:24, 8:13, 8:01 (avg for 0.6).
The rest of the day was busy and I never had a chance to swim. The pool closes at 4:30 on the weekends so that makes it tough. 


  • Plan: 1:30 Run + 1:10 Bike w/8×1′ Speed Intervals
  • Actual: ~10.5M @ ~8:35 avg.

This run was a disaster. It was hot and miserable and my body was dead. I ran on the Cape Henry trail which is amazing, but I get no satellite signal in the woods (no big deal – but that’s why the distance/pace is approx) and I also got eaten up by mosquitos. This is partly because I took my tank top off because it was soaked with sweat and partly because I took several walk breaks and the bites were worse when I wasn’t moving. Runs like this are just soul crushers and make me dream of cool fall weather. I am really hoping I start getting acclimated to the weather soon because runs like this aren’t even fun for me.

The bad part about missing so many workouts earlier in the week was that I needed to try to squeeze in another ride (or swim) later after my long run. After a long nap and doing some stuff around the house, I tried to muster up some motivation, but just couldn’t. I felt completely drained and knew the workout would be junk if I did it. Instead I decided that next week would be a new week to start over completely fresh. And I had a glass (or 2) of wine on my roof deck and enjoyed the incredible sunset. 



  • Swim: 2400 meters 
  • Bike: 52 miles 
  • Run: 27 miles
  • Time: 7 hours 11 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, Goals, life, Moving, running, swimming, training, Travel, triathlon, Weather, weekly recap | 2 Comments

USAT Nationals Week 4: Move Week #1

8 weeks until USAT Nationals

The (first) big move week was last week. I knew it, would be interesting as far as my workouts went and wasn’t sure exactly how it would play out. I planned the days as I normally would and included all of the workouts and just figured I would play it by ear and see what I had time to squeeze in. I am happy to say that it actually went really well! With the exception of one swim, I got in all of the planned workouts!


  • Plan: Tempo w/2-3M @ “feel” 
  • Actual: 6.75M @ 8:01 avg. w/tempo: 7:12, 7:08

My legs were dead from the weekend’s workouts and it was 73° with 95% humidity. Needless to say my expectations for the run were pretty low. The first half mile of the tempo, my pace was all over, but I eventually locked in close to my “normal” tempo pace. I was only supposed to go for the 3rd tempo mile if I felt like a million bucks. I felt FAR from that (more like $1) so I pushed the pace as much as I could and wrapped it up at 2. I finished completely drenched in sweat, with no dry spot on my body or clothes.

The movers came a few hours later and the craziness of the week began.


  • Plan: 1:15 Ride w/6×5′ Hills Climbs + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: 19.35M Bike @ 15.6 mph (1:15) + 2250 m Swim (main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 7×100 sprint w/1′ RI)

It rained all day and all night on Monday so the lakefront was a huge mess Tuesday morning. The debris, sand and puddles were a good test of my bike handling skills. I scrapped the hills climbs because there are no hills in Chicago to climb anyway and the wind out of the north was so strong that the 2nd half of the ride felt like climbing one huge hill.


The only clue that the wind was blowing like hell is the choppy water in the otherwise calm harbor.

After lunch I snuck away from the house and movers long enough to get a quick swim at Lincoln Park Athletic Club. I don’t love swimming in the 20 yard pool there, but it was a little too chilly for an outdoor swim at Holstein Park.


  • Plan: 50 min – 1:00 Easy Run + 2400 Swim
  • Actual: 7.2M @ 8:19 avg. (progression: 8:43, 8:29, 8:18, 8:12, 8:05, 7:58 & c/d @ 8:24)  

I woke up at 5:20ish to run before an appointment with Conor at Delos. It was much cooler (low 50’s!) and my hands were even a little cold! Conor worked on my left calf the whole time and it was just like my first appointment all over again…so much pain, but so worth it.

I was exhausted that afternoon. Plus I had my hair colored Tuesday afternoon and I wasn’t sure about swimming so soon afterward since my stylist said to wait a week before getting in the pool. I ended up taking a much needed nap instead of swimming and felt the best I had in days when I woke up.


  • Plan: 1:05 Ride w/8×1′ Sprint + 2400 Swim 
  • Actual: 18.5M Ride @ 17.2 mph (1:05) w/sprints: 21.9, 21.7, 19.2, 20.4, 20.6  + 2400 m Swim (main set: 7×200, 4×25 sprint) 

I left as earlier as I could get myself out the door (~6:15) so that I could beat the traffic on the roads and avoid the lakefront path. I road north up to Evanston and while there was definitely a lot of starting and stopping, it was much better than going south on the path. I squeezed in as many sprints as I could when I was on the quieter neighborhood roads in Evanston before heading back into city traffic. That meant getting only 5 instead of the 8 planned. 

I hoped to squeeze in an outdoor swim at noon, but Brad was gone with the car so I finally headed to the pool once he got back to be there with the movers. 

That evening was our very fun, but also very sad going away party. We had a blast with all of our friends and stayed up drinking and saying goodbye until well past 2 a.m.


Such an incredible group of friends.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Early morning after a late night and a LONG, long, long day of driving to Nashville.


  • Plan: 2:00 Ride
  • Actual: 28.29M (~2:00), 14.4 mph

We visited Char and Jesse in Nashville “on the way” to Virginia. {It’s not really on the way so much, but at least in the same general direction.} It was supposed to rain all morning, but we got up at 6:30 and it was perfectly clear and had actually cooled down a ton from the overnight rain. These two tried to kill this flatlander by taking me up and down the hills of Nashville and through the 11-mile Percy Warner loop. Hence such a slow average for the ride.

Somehow I didn’t take any pictures except this one, but we had a great day listening to live music in the park and at a songwriters’ showcase. We also (obviously) drank some beer along the way :)

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  • Plan: 1:20 – 1:30 Run
  • Actual: 8.5M, 8:32 avg.

The only thing I can really say about this is HOT. We walked out the door at 7 a.m. to a sauna. It was humid and already 80 degrees. It was basically a death march from mile 1. We started with the intention of running 10 and by mile 4, I wanted to quit at 6 so I was actually pretty please with 8.5 and only about 8 min shy of the 1:20 goal.

After the run, we had a quick diner breakfast with Char and Jesse then packed up the car for the rest of the long drive to Richmond.


  • Swim: 4600 meters 
  • Bike: 66 miles 
  • Run: 22 miles
  • Time: 8 hours 44 min.
Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, Goals, life, Moving, running, swimming, training, Travel, triathlon, Weather, weekly recap | Leave a comment

USAT Nationals Week 3: Progress!

9 weeks until USAT Nationals

This was a solid week! Not only did I finally get 3 swim, bike and run workouts for the first time this cycle, I also found some pep back in my step.


  • Plan: Tempo w/2M @ “feel” 50 min Easy Run
  • Actual: 5.8M @ 8:38 avg.

Despite getting 10 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling awful. My stomach was upset and I just felt blech. I waited a few hours and finally headed out for my run around 11:15 when I was feeling a little better. Running midday in June in Houston is generally a bad idea. I knew it was going to be rough so I scrapped the tempo and focused on getting easy miles. I carried water and took several walk breaks in shaded areas. It wasn’t pretty, but I was really happy to finish it.

That evening I flew from Houston to Virginia Beach and because of storms, I got stuck in DC until 11 p.m. I didn’t finally get to my hotel until 1:30 a.m.


  • Plan: 2150 Swim1:15 Ride w/4×3′ @ VO2 Max
  • Actual: 20.25M Bike @ 16.6 mph (1:13) w/intervals: 18.6, 19.5, 19.7, 19.3, 19.8, 19.9 mph

Because of the late night and how I felt the day before, I skipped the planned morning swim and slept in. I rode after work in a new-to-me area in Virginia Beach. {PSA: Do not trust a non-cyclist when they tell you that a bike path “goes forever” and is “definitely at least 8 miles” or you might end up on a less than 2 mile bike path.} Instead of riding back and forth, I explored the nearby neighborhood streets and found a perfect loop to do my intervals. I did 6 instead of 4 because I forgot to check how many I was supposed to do and 6 seemed reasonable. I felt strong and was happy with how it went, but I would like to be able keep the pace much close to goal race pace (22 mph) as I get more fit.


  • Plan: 50 min Easy Run Tempo w/2M @ “feel” + 2150 Swim
  • Actual: 5.8M @ 8:04 w/tempo: 7:30, 7:14 +  2150 Swim (Main set: 7×100 w/5″ RI, 6×75 sprint)

I ran before work which was less than 12 hours after finishing the bike workout from the night before. My legs were definitely feeling it and the tempo miles felt hard, especially the first one. It wasn’t pretty, but I was happy to finish with something close to my normal tempo pace. The cool down miles felt so much easier and were at a faster pace with the same effort than all of the miles I have run since Bayshore. It was like the tempo effort brought some life back into my legs.

Swam after work. The swims still feel like slogs. I need to invest much more time in the pool before things will start to come around.


  • Plan: 1:05 Ride w/6×1′ Sprint + 2100 Swim 
  • Actual: 19.25M @ 17.4 mph (1:06) w/sprints: 19.2, 18.7, 19.8, 20.4, 18.8, 22.1, 21.1, 21.2 mph + 2100 m Swim (main set: 5×200, 4×25 sprint)

I rode in the morning before work along the bike lane that starts very close to where my new house will be. I am very excited to have such a great, safe route with good road surface so close to my house for weekday rides. I felt much stronger in the sprints than on Tuesday’s ride.

I didn’t leave the office until after 6 and the last thing I really wanted to do was swim, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. Once I got in the pool, it went by really fast and I was done before I knew it. I still felt like I was dying by the end of every 200.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

Rest days during triathlon training are glorious. I slept in and took my sweet time getting ready and packing up my bags before heading to the office. Unfortunately my flight that evening was cancelled and I ended up spending yet another night in Virginia instead of going home to Chicago.


  • Plan: 1:20 – 1:30 Run
  • Actual: 11M @ 7:58 avg.

When my flight was cancelled, I was rebooked on a 7:15 flight for Saturday morning. Luckily, good old Chicago came through with some cooler temps and starting the run at almost 10 a.m. wasn’t too bad. Right as I got to the inner path, I saw Jenny and we ended up running 6 miles together. Running 7:50’s is definitely on the slow end for Jenny, but it was good for me to pick up the pace a little after so many slower runs the last 3 weeks. We chatted away and the miles flew by! Running a little faster actually felt really good and I tried to keep the pace there even after we split so she could head home.

The rest of the day was spent brunching, drinking and watching the Blackhawks. It was a super fun day!



  • Plan: Brick: 1:15 Ride + 30 min Run + 1800 Swim
  • Actual: 21.5M Bike @ 17.2 mph + 3.6M Run @ 8:21 avg. + 1800 yard Swim (main set: 1200 straight)

Despite Saturday’s shenanigans, I actually woke up Sunday feeling pretty darn good. I got my bike all ready to go and right as I was heading out, it started sprinkling. I checked the weather and a huge storm was coming. I went back inside and a few minutes later it POURED. After the rain passed, I rode up north to Evanston. It was calm for a Sunday morning, but still reminded me why I don’t love riding my bike in Chicago. I ran an easy 30 after the ride and my legs felt like trash, but somehow the pace was much faster than it felt (like always on a brick!).

The absolute LAST thing I wanted to do that evening was swim, but I really, really wanted to get 3 swims for the first time in a week. Surprisingly, this was the best swim yet. Maybe because I was so relaxed, but I felt smooth and the 1200 straight flew by. Nice confidence booster!


  • Swim: 5900  meters 
  • Bike: 61 miles (all outside!)
  • Run: 27 miles
  • Time: 9 hours 5 min.
Posted in bike, friends, Goals, running, swimming, training, triathlon, weekly recap | 1 Comment

USAT Nationals Week 2: Boston & Houston

10 weeks until USAT Nationals

The first half of the week I was in Boston for a business trip, then I headed down to Houston for a family weekend. The time in Boston was filled with late nights and early mornings and my body was definitely not loving the lack of sleep. By the time the weekend came around, I was dragging a bit, even with several skipped workouts throughout the week. I ended the week with only one swim which is disappointing but I guess I can only do better next week.


  • Plan: 1:15 Ride + 2325 Swim
  • Actual: 20.15 Bike @ 16.9 mph (1:11) + 2350 m Swim (main set: 8×100 w/5″ rest + 7×75 sprint)

My flight left from Virginia Beach at 11:30, so I took advantage of the extra time in the morning by riding outside and getting in a swim. The early morning, flat ride felt much better than the rolling hills and heat from the day before. I wasn’t sure how a back-to-back workout would feel…it was the first one in a long time. But the swim was pretty decent. I finished the morning feeling really accomplished and strong.


  • Plan: 1:00 Run + 2300 Swim 1:05 Ride w/8×1′ hills
  • Actual: 16M @ 16 mph (1:00) w8x1′ “hills”

It was cold and raining in Boston and I didn’t have anything to run in but a tank top, so I pushed the planned run to the next day and rode on the recumbent bike in the gym instead. Netflix and alternating “hills” made the time go by pretty quickly.

I had scoped out some pool options, but we didn’t have a break between our work meetings and dinner so I had to scrap the planned swim.


  • Plan: 1:05 Ride w/8×1′ hills 45 min – 1:00 Easy Run
  • Actual: 6M @ ~8:25 

This was the run from Tueaday. It was still a little cool in Boston (high 40’s), but at least the sun was shining. Instead of risking being cold in a tank top, I ended up running in a cotton t-shirt. First time I have done that in a LONG time, but it actually wasn’t that bad! Of course, I wasn’t that sweaty since it was a cool day. Running around Boston was fun and there were tons of runners out for National Running Day.

Boston views (same as my run but taken later during the tour)

The afternoon was for team building and we explored Boston on Segways before hitting the Red Sox game!


  • Plan: 2:00 ride 
  • Actual: 27.5M bike @ 16.5 mph (1:40)

I knew I wouldn’t have access to a bike on the weekend, so I got in my long “ride” on the recumbent bike at the hotel before leaving Boston that evening. I was actually surprised with how quickly the time went by while I watched House of Cards on Netflix. This is, of course, nothing like a real long ride, but I do what I can with what I have and hope I get some training benefits out of it.


  • Plan: 45 min – 1:00 Easy Run + 2100 Swim
  • Actual: 5.5M @ 8:24 avg. 

I woke up exhausted. The lack of sleep finally caught up to me, but I didn’t have the option to sleep in because I had a morning filled with teleconferences and the day would only be getting hotter as it went on. Between the heat and my body being so tired, the run felt hard. I thought I would try to go an hour, but 45 minutes was all I could muster.

The day was super busy after the run and there was no time to try to squeeze in a swim.


  • Plan: 1:20 Run
  • Actual: 9.2M @ 8:41 avg.

I procrastinated WAY too much before heading out the door. It was 8:30 by the time I started running and I knew I better slow it way down if I wanted to survive. I got really thirsty and hot at the end, so it felt hard in the last couple of miles. But my pace was consistent (8:38 – 8:43) so I knew I had run smart, considering my lack of acclimation to the heat.

That evening was a ton of fun with my family.

Cheers to my beautiful cousins!

All the booze and blur.


  • Plan: OFF
  • Actual: OFF

A well-planned day off after a late night of partying with family. I did take a nice long walk with my parents in the evening which felt good after an otherwise lazy day.


  • Swim:  2350 meters (one swim…womp)
  • Bike: 64 miles (44 on the recumbent bike)
  • Run: 20.7 miles
  • Time: 7 hours 30 min.
Posted in bike, friends, Goals, running, swimming, training, triathlon, weekly recap | Leave a comment