Weekly Update: The Story So Far

  • I finally purchased a bike.  2 weeks and $2,000+ later, I purchased a Scott CR-1 Team from Get A Grip Cycles.  I took the bike out for a few rides and had to get used to the clip pedals.  It takes pride to fall flat on my ass on Chicago Avenue in the middle of a busy street.   While it scared me initially and I stayed off the streets for awhile, I’ve learned to not fall, even though my courage to ride Chicago’s city streets on a bike isn’t up there yet.  Maybe I’ll get a steel frame bike for that.
  • I ran 57:08 at the Shamrock Shuffle 8k.  It was an unusually warm day compared to normal Chicago weather around March.  I had met up with my Chiropractor and received KTape on my left knee.  Also Pre-Race I got super stretched out by David Hardin and ran the race with no problems.  For a cold start and no training runs since last years Marathon, I felt fantastic and started looking forward to this years training season.
  • I nailed down the majority of my race schedule, which eliminated a few races and added others.  I have a full training plan up till my Rev3Tri Half-Ironman in September.  This is all thanks to Kimberly Shah at njoy Racing, whom I look forward to getting to know better as time goes on
  • I ran for redemption at the Race for Wrigley 5k.  Pulled out my best official 5k time to date at 31:26.   Even better? I capped my Heart Rate to 180 bpm and was able to sprint towards the finish.  Although my official time was about an hour because I started late, my runkeeper that day had me at about 41 minutes, which sounds about right.  I think I would have beat 27 minutes if I didn’t have to walk part of the race.   The race also seemed less staffed and very minimal camaraderie, but I digress.
  • Pulled an unofficial 35:10 the next week at the Sherryl Gaptka 5k in Lisle.  This was a new race and I wasn’t going for time, but I was able to yet again sprint at the end.  I had adjusted my run walk strategy to correspond with my heart rate.
  • My Triathlon Training Started (with nJoy) about three weeks ago, and while I’m trying to learn the ropes, I signed up with Chicago Endurance Sports half-ironman training.  This was so I have access to a coached swim, and I have options for workouts in case meetups with nJoy don’t work all that well.  That and Chicago Triathlon Club also has outings (I think mostly biking) as well.   The Triathlon Training has me working out 6 days a week.  Which is tougher than I thought.
  • Strength Training with David Hardin is the best decision I had ever made.  Not only does my body look fantastic after years of feeling ashamed, but it has improved all three sports as well.  I’m closer to the endurance-building phase with David, as the workouts are closer to not leaving me begging for mercy.  I puked for the first and hopefully only time in the Gym.  I’ve heard of this happening before, but experiencing it is quite different.
  • My first bike ride was fantastic. It was at Train Chicago Studios, found out that my Time Trial output is at 112 watts.  I was able to bike the entire time, only spinning for about a minute during the entire exercise, which shocked me.  I was also at 160 bpm as well after a stern warning from my coach.
  • My first swim however, was not so well.  I think that I have lost all memory of how to swim, because I distinctly remember being a fish, and finding excuses to be in the pool during the summers of my youth.  Heck, I remember diving to the bottom of the deep end of the pool to pick up weights, no problem.  However, all that has gone away and I can’t even move forward with a freestyle stroke.  So, this is the challenge before any of the other triathlons post Bigfoot.  At the Bigfoot Triathlon I can walk along the bottom so it’s not so bad, but I know that 70.3 will probably be in deeper water.

Race List 2012

So I’ve been ruminating on my ‘plans’ next year, knowing around June I’ll have to train hardcore for the Chicago Marathon.  This is also quite nerve-wracking for me, because I have to plan ahead so far, and I normally don’t.  So, I’ve put together a list (and a wishlist) of events I plan on participating (and covering) for 2012.

Race to Wrigley 5kApril
The first race I ever did, would like to return and PR my original time (which is at 1:00, but I crossed the line very late)

Ravenswood 5kApril
I like Ravenswood, this was a fun race, plan on doing it again.

Soldier Field 10 MileMay
I did this race last year, and while I’m not a Bears fan, finishing on the 50 yard line is a very good incentive to run over Memorial Day

North Shore Half MarathonJune
At the suggestion of my coach, I’m swapping this for 13.1 Chicago (which is the next day) in 2011.

Bigfoot Triathlon  – June
This will also be a first time for me.  I’m going to train for a Sprint Triathlon and based on my experience / performance, might go for longer distances.

L.A.T.E. RideJuly
This was AWESOME last year.  Riding on Chicago streets at night, watching the sunrise in the morning, and drafting bikers at 25+ mph?  Hell yeah!

Chicago Half MarathonSeptember
Was awesome running on 9/11 last year, willing to do it again this year.

Newton 20 MilerSeptember
Of course the last training run before the Chicago Marathon, will definitely be on next year.

AIDS 5k Walk / 10k RunOctober
Did the 5k walk last year, but I plan on running the 10k and walking with my friends for the 5k portion.

Chicago MarathonOctober
Fall Classic.  World Major.  ‘nuff said.  Going for a PR, which shouldn’t be too hard.

Malibu Half MarathonNovember
This will be my second traveling trip, at the suggestion of my coach.

Rock and Roll Las VegasDecember
Missed this for 2011, definitely on deck for 2012, especially if they are on the strip at night.


So far, 11 Races with 1 Marathon and 1 Triathlon in the mix.

Below are a list of races that are on my ‘wishlist’.  At the behest of over-commitment and physical exhaustion, I’m keeping these races off my schedule, for now.

Shamrock Shuffle – Been advised against this race because EVERYONE  does it.
Lakefront 10 Miler – Conflict with another event. . might do it anyway
Indy Mini-Marathon – Conflict with another event. . might do it anyway.  Would have to travel.
13.1 Chicago – A day after North Shore, and Windy City Challenge? Very tempting.
Half – Ironman Racine – Yeah, I know, insane, right? But I have friends doing said race, might be tempted to try just to crash and burn.
Rock and Roll Chicago – Didn’t care much for it last year.  If I have some compelling reason to go, yes, if not, will pass on it.
Hot Chocolate – Been advised against this race too for various reasons.
Disneyland 2013 – Mixed reviews on said race.

I’m interested in other stuff next year as well.   There are Century Rides, the ‘mud’ races (Spartan Race, Mudatlon, etc.), larger Triathlons, and other stuff that I will have my eyes out on.  I would also like to try races outside of the Chicago area.