Monthly Archives: August 2011

TNT Chicago Tri

Today marked the culmination of the Team in Training tri season. My awesome group of six athletes raised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and today they conquered the Chicago Triathlon that they have been training so hard for.

Steve and I had a wedding to attend on Saturday, so we weren’t able to get to Chicago for the pre-race festivities that evening. As a side note, the wedding was at the Milwaukee War Memorial, which brought back a lot of memories. This is where we held our wedding three years ago, and it was another beautiful day.

After the wedding we headed directly to downtown Chicago. We checked into the hotel around 11pm, got to bed around midnight, and got up around 3am. It was more of a nap than a good night’s sleep. We met up with the team in the lobby at 4am and they were ready to race.

The Chicago Triathlon is the largest tri in the world, so I was curious to see how the whole thing would go down. Transition was open from 4:15am to 5:45am, and the swim waves started at 6am. My team was in waves starting anywhere between 6:30am and 8:30am.  That is a long time to be sitting around before the race, and a few team members in later waves went back to the hotel.

We did get to watch a beautiful Chicago sunrise over the harbor.

It was very windy today, and the water was extremely choppy. This is the first race I have been to where the entire swim is spectator friendly. It is basically a point to point swim along the edge of the marina, so Steve and I planted ourselves on the edge to try to catch glimpses of the team.

We saw tons of people panicking in the water, and countless athletes being pulled onto the lifeboats. It seemed like a lot more athletes from the sprint distance waves were being pulled in, probably because they were less experienced. My guess is that it was the first tri for many of them, and probably the first time swimming in open water for some. I could see where the chop would have been too much to handle, and I felt bad for those who basically had to end their race right after it started.

We were able to see a few of the team members, but it was really hard to pick them out with swim caps and wetsuits on. We did not try to see any of the bike portion, but we heard that the wind was pretty bad.

After hanging out at the finish line TNT tent for a while with my two sprint distance racers (who both did awesome!), Steve and I headed to the run course to try and see some of the Olympic distance race. We were able to see all of the team members, and they looked great out there.

I am proud of all of them for finishing strong, it was a fun season.

Spectating at this race was fun, but I have no desire to ever do it myself. It’s just too big, too many people, and too much waiting around at the start. After the race Steve and I were beyond exhausted and hungry, so after a short cat nap back at the hotel, we had a nice outdoor brunch which eluded photographs. Now we are back home, I got a short run in, and am ready to spend the rest of the night relaxing with a movie.



Filed under Fun, Triathlon


1. Steve is doing well. His wrist is fractured, and he had a cast on for 10 days. It came off today, and he now has a custom splint. While the cast was on he was running and biking on the trainer. Needless to say the cast was pretty disgusting and he is very happy to have it off. Also, he has been cleared to swim with the splint on, and is planning to race Ironman! The race will be one month and one day after the accident.

His new bike is pretty sweet and totally matches mine with the red and white. What a copycat.

2. I ended up going up to Door County for three nights of camping by myself. Steve had doctors appointments, and was bummed that he really wouldn’t be able to do any activities up there, so he stayed home. I hung out with my family for a few days which was nice. We saw several amazing sunsets.

While I was there, I got in a two hour mountain bike ride and a 20 mile trail run. Peninsula State Park is my favorite place to run in the world so I had to take advantage.

3. Last Sunday my friend James and I went to Madison and biked 120 miles on the Ironman course. We followed that up with a two mile run. I felt way better than expected and only had one mental breakdown on the bike. It was a great confidence booster.

4. Ironman is in two weeks. Eek!

5. On Tuesday we got to see Blink 182, which was awesome. My aunt and uncle (Beth and Mike) hooked us up with the tickets and it was so much fun.

That last one is Travis the drummer elevated high above the crowd on a moving platform during the encore. It was really cool. They always put on such a good show. Thanks Beth and Mike!

Side note: My Chemical Romance opened and they sounded awful. They didn’t play their one current good song either. Boo.

6. This weekend is going to be crazy. Saturday I have a three hour bike ride followed by a 90 minute run. After that we are attending a wedding in Milwaukee, then leaving the wedding early to drive to Chicago. At 4am on Sunday morning I am meeting my TNT athletes before they race in the Chicago Triathlon. I will be down there cheering them on all day Sunday which will be fun. I expect to get home Sunday afternoon and crash. I don’t think my planned Sunday bike ride will happen, but we’ll see.

7. Sorry this whole post is in an annoying list format. That is pretty much the story of my life right now. I just don’t have the time/energy to do anything more in depth. Two more weeks…thank goodness.


Filed under Friends, Fun, Music, The bike, The run, The swim, Triathlon

The unthinkable

Last Wednesday night, Steve was hit by a car while biking. He is ok, thank goodness. It seems like cyclists are getting hit left and right lately, so I want to use this post as a reminder to everyone to be safe out there.

Steve was riding south on a heavily-biked road in Milwaukee. A 16 year old male driver pulled out in front of him to turn north. There was a large road construction sign obstructing the driver’s view. Steve was probably going about 25 mph when they hit. He cannot remember anything, but we have been able to piece together what happened by talking to the police and one of the witnesses. Given the amount of damage to the car, Steve is incredibly lucky that he escaped with no major injuries. The windshield had a hole in it from his head, the driver’s side door was dented in, the hood was dented and the headlight was broken. He literally went flying.

I was not home when it happened, and I did not hear my phone ringing right away. When I talked to Steve he was getting a ride home with the police. His bike is totaled. I rushed home and when I got there he was pretty out of it. Pacing back and forth in our condo, repeating things over and over, etc. It took me an hour to get him to go to the hospital. We finally did, and thankfully the CT scan of his head came out ok.

If you are squeamish, probably stop reading now. I took some pictures of his injuries in the hospital.

His eye was all cut up, and he had a super-fat lip. His eye looks about 5 times worse than this right now, it’s all red, black, blue, and green.

His elbow was pretty cut up and bloody. This is what is giving him the most trouble because every time he bumps it against something it is really painful.

His thigh is cut up and really swollen. This also looks a lot worse now because it’s such a huge bruise. It’s turning all kinds of crazy colors. New little sore areas and cuts are popping up each day.

His left hand was swollen like a balloon, and the x-rays are showing a probable fracture in the wrist. He is scheduled for a CAT scan tomorrow to take a better look at it and see the extent of the fracture, because it wasn’t completely clear on the x-rays. Right now he is in a splint wrapped up with an ACE wrap to keep it immobile.

The worst part is that we are four weeks out from Ironman. A new bike has already been ordered, but the race will probably depend on weather he will have to wear a cast or not. He is determined to do everything he can to resume training and do the race, so we will have to see what happens. We were also supposed to leave on a family camping trip yesterday, which is on hold. We are hoping to possibly get up there for a few days on Tuesday.

Things could have turned out so much worse, and I am just so thankful that he is ok. Many people that are hit like this are not so lucky. He was wearing a helmet, which I am completely convinced saved his life. We will be getting him the same helmet again, and I am going to get a new one too. I learned that bike helmets should be replaced every 5 years, so I am overdue.

Please be careful and share the roads, weather you are a biker, runner, or driver. We all need to pay attention and follow the rules to keep everyone safe. End PSA.


Filed under Family, The bike

Another packed summer weekend

Even though our summer weekends have been filled with a lot of training hours, I always try to make sure to do plenty of summer activities as well. It’s always tempting to lay down on the couch and nap the afternoon away after an 18 mile run, but summer is short and we have to take advantage.

Saturday morning was an 18 mile run that almost didn’t happen. I have been having some pain on the bottom/side of my right foot, which has caused my calf to be in a knot from trying not to land on it while running. Friday night I could barely put pressure on it, and it didn’t feel much better Saturday morning. The thought of doing a 3 hour bike ride instead of running made me want to die a little, so I put on my compression socks and running shoes to see how it felt. After a couple of laps around the condo, I decided it wasn’t so bad.

I paid really close attention to it during my run, and though my calf was sore the whole time, my heel didn’t seem to be getting any worse. I ended up with 18 miles (out of a planned 20). My Garmin froze up two miles in, which was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to forget about the pace and just take it really easy. My heel didn’t feel any worse after, thank goodness.

After running, Steve and I decided to take the boat out to try and catch the end of the air show that was happening in Milwaukee. We really wanted to see the Thunderbirds show, they are so loud and awesome. When we got to the boat storage, we were greeted with this:

Ugh. While Steve worked on changing the tire,

I made myself really useful by taking pictures of myself and my iced coffee.

The Thunderbirds were performing as the tire was being changed, so we just missed them. We could hear them loud and clear though, and we did see them fly over the boat storage several times.

Even though we missed the show, we still had a great time cruising around on the boat. I will never get sick of the view of Milwaukee from the water.

There were so many boats out, probably because of the air show and the perfectly breezy sailing weather. Can you spot all of the sailboats?

After cruising around for a while, we were hungry. We headed to the Milwaukee Ale House for some outdoor dining.

I had a margarita (which I could barely finish because it was so sweet) and a black bean burger. Look at this beauty.

Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and cucumber sauce. Yum.

We were determined to get our 5 hour bike ride on Sunday done in time to actually see day two of the air show, but mother nature had other plans. The plan was to leave at 7am, be back by 12:30, and be on the water by 1:30. I woke up at 6am and started getting ready. By 6:30 it was storming. We waited it out and didn’t end up biking until 11am. So much for the Thunderbirds.

We rode out to Steve’s sister’s house which is about 46 miles away. I am not kidding when I tell you that the entire way there was uphill and into the wind. It was horrible. Then about 6 or 8 miles before we got there, it started raining. Then it started pouring. We couldn’t see a thing, and I declared that I would not be riding home. (Not sure how I was going to get back, I didn’t think that far ahead).

After a nice visit with my sister-in-law and eating all of her wheat thins, I felt better. The sun was back out, and it was quite steamy. The ride home was a million times better than the ride out. It took us 2:45 on the way out and 2:30 on the way back. We ended up with 92 miles in 5:15, not too shabby. And then it was time to eat tacos and collapse on the couch. We watched Rango, which I was loving but of course I ended up falling asleep.

Two more big build weeks and then it’s taper time!

What did you do this weekend?

Do you like biking?

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Filed under Food, Fun, The bike, The run, Triathlon

About to get crazy up in here

What a weekend. I tried to soak it up as much as possible, because it was likely my last chance before September 11th. You see, last week was a “rest” week in the training plan. What that means is I only had to work out 8.5 hours instead of 16+. Instead of spending 9 hours of my weekend training, it was spent on the boat.

I truly apologize for that picture. I just wanted to show you that I busted out my 80’s hot pink swim suit and glasses for the occasion.


It was in the 90’s all weekend, and the water in the lake was probably at least 85 degrees. I didn’t even get goose bumps when I jumped in, and I was able to stay in the water for more than 90 seconds without being cold.

Ice cream was involved on Saturday night.


Sunday was a repeat day on the lake. I was able to get in a little water skiing action, although the lake was really choppy so it wasn’t that fun.

And now, things are about to get crazy. Training wise, that is. Today is day 1 of our final three week build, then there is a gradual three week taper. I like this training plan because it builds for three weeks and then has a rest week, so I feel like I can mentally handle it because a break is on the horizon. The last four weeks looked like this:

And volume has slowly been building:

Please ignore the fact that I have only done 2 hours and 25 minutes of strength training in the past two months. Fail.

Just for fun because I am a nerd, I graphed out my training volume for 2011 to date:

Can you tell when Ironman training started? Here is the same graph in total distance instead of total time:

Yep, that about sums it up.

Go visit Blond Ponytail for an awesome Running Chics Clothing giveaway!

What was the best thing you did over the weekend?

I would have to say the peanut butter cookie dough ice cream was the highlight! (along with spending two glorious days outside on the boat of course)


Filed under Friends, Fun, Triathlon