Friday, August 26, 2016

Super Sprint Fun With Tun

Two years ago, Ironman triathlete, Dan Tun, guided me for the Mideast Regional Championships in Fort Wayne. He helped me stay calm in the water long enough to finish with my second fastest swim. The only swim time which was faster was my time at USA Nationals when I came out of the water in first place on route to pulling away on the bike and run for my first National title. In Fort Wayne, Dan guided me to a first place finish in my division and the second of back-to-back regional titles.

The 2014 Mideast Regional title was my last triathlon. I did not consider a return to triathlon elite racing until this year. I took part in the Dare2Tri weekend camp in June. Participating in the Dare2Tri Tri It Triathlon along side Lindsey Cook was a blast. The desire to return to elite level triathlon racing grew stronger. After some discussions with Dan Tun, I registered for Chicago Triathlon super sprint. I have raced olympic distance in New York. I have raced at Nationals and Worlds for the sprint distance. I have never done a super sprint. 375 meters swim, 6.2 miles bike, and 1.5 mile run. I especially like the bike and run. I get to go all out for short bursts. Even with qualifying for Boston Marathon six times, I am a sprinter at heart. Friends have noticed that my face lights up and I come alive when I am sprinting.

On August 27, I will race in the Chicago Triathlon Super Sprint along side Dan Tun. Doing this short race may motivate me heading into the fall and winter for return trips to Regionals, Nationals, and Worlds in 2017.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This One Woman: Gabby Douglas

Each month, Cynthia Shur Petts and Kyna Lenhof present a variety showcase, This One Woman. Performers are selected to give an artistic performance of their choosing inspired by a specific woman. For August, This One Woman will showcase USA Olympian, Gabby Douglas. Each artist will deliver a piece in five to eight minutes.

I am one of the seven who will present. My piece will be a little storytelling a little standup comedy and I hope, plenty of entertainment.

THIS ONE WOMAN
Gabby Douglas
Monday, August 22,
Hopleaf Bar
5148 N. Clark Street
7:30p.m.

This One Woman Facebook

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jenna Parker Stars In Syfy Ice Sharks

I have been lucky to know the beautiful and talented model, actress, triathlete, Jenna Parker for many years. When I needed to improve my marathon and triathlon training, I reached out to her to coach me. She turned me into a paratriathlon elite and USA national champion. Jenna helped me run even faster to start qualifying for Boston Marathon each time I run 26.2 miles.

Tonight, Jenna Parker will star in a feature film to air on Syfy called Ice Sharks. 9p.m. eastern/8p.m. central. She will be live tweeting during the airing. You can follow her on Twitter at:
@JennaParkerLive

You can also read this piece on the fabulous Jenna Parker which posted a week ago.

Jenna Parker

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Universal Sole Burgers And Beer 5K 2016

It was a beautiful evening for a race as I walked the grounds outside of Soldier Field in Chicago. It was my first time running Universal Sole Burgers And Beer 5K. Lovely, Lindsey Cook volunteered to guide me. Before the race, I spent time by the Universal sole registration tent and the Saucony one. I spent an hour with the Blade runners. I had fun chatting with pals; Eric robb, Levi Kane, and others. I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful, Melissa Stockwell.

Lindsey and I walked to the start line. She and I get together for weekly evening runs. This would be a fun run under race conditions. Race began. We jogged across the start. We coasted through the opening mile. We worked our way through the second one. Mile two was slower than mile one. With one mile to go, my concern was crossing the finish with Lindsey feeling okay. I did not want her to feel physically spent as a result of guiding me. I did not want the rest of her training week to suffer. She picked up the pace. Half a mile out, she turned it on more. I was not expecting her to push the pace as much as 1:17 per mile faster. We cruised across the finish line at a strong pace as the public address announcer called my name and congratulated me.

Thanks to Lindsey for gutting out a strong run to guide me. Thank you Pinnacle Performance Company for sponsoring me. Thank you Jenna Parker for being my friend and coach. Thank you to Universal sole for another fabulous well organized event. Thank you Shake Shack for the spectacular post race burger. The only thing better was speaking to the wonderful, Kate Bongiovanni after the race.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

4 Mile Classic

After running the Universal Sole 10K in 2015 and having so much fun with wonderful and beautiful, Wendy, I registered for Universal Sole 4 Mile Classic. Lovely, Lindsey would guide me. Days prior to the race, Lindsey said she was ill and insisted I find a replacement. I asked my gal pals. No one was available. This was not a targeted event so I would not be disappointed not setting a personal best.

Race evening was sunny and pleasant. First time Lindsey and I would run together since she and Liz guided me for the Chicago Marathon in October 2013. She was still sick, so the game plan was to have fun. We arrived an hour prior to gun time. We met the good folks at the non profit, Chicago Run, who would receive proceeds from the evening’s race. We enjoyed some free samples, spoke to some nice Live Grit representatives, and met lovely, Heather.

Wearing my Pinnacle Performance racing gear, I jogged across the start line. After a few meters of discomfort, I remembered how fun it is to run next to Lindsey and how much I miss doing so. The opening mile was slow. Just over 11:00. I thought of how much better the weather was compared to when Wendy and I ran the 10K when it was windy and cold. Lindsey and I took turns asking each other, “How are you feeling?” On one hand, I wanted to run fast. On the other hand, this event was about enjoying the moment not about setting a personal best. We costed to mile two. We had picked up the pace slightly. Mile three was consistent. Mile four was tougher. It sounded as though Lindsey was struggling to breathe. she insisted she was fine, but her lungs sounds like they were on fire. Pushing it was not worth it. We took it slow. We ran up Cricket Hill. I remembered how when I ran with Wendy, I almost fell over on Cricket Hill, but this time, it was not as challenging nor as steep. Public address announcer informed the crowd that Israel Antonio was nearing the finish looking strong. We cruised across the finish.

Four miles along side a beautiful woman on a lovely evening. Thank you to Lindsey Cook for guiding me. Thank you Jenna Parker for being my friend and coach. Thank you Pinnacle Performance Company for being my sponsor. Thank you Universal Sole for a great event. Thank you to all the volunteers for a splendid experience.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Not Quite Shamrock Shuffling

As 2015 winter arrived, I planned to sprint my way to the Rio Olympics. While blind women would qualify for the Summer Olympics in the sport of Paratriathlon, blind men would not be afforded the same opportunity. I would try to qualify for Team USA as a Track and Field sprinter. In November, I injured my hamstring for the first time ever. It took months for me to recover during which, I had plenty of frustrating days of walking/jogging. By April this year, I was healthy, but I was not fast. Ryan Nord agreed to guide me for Bank Of America Shamrock Shuffle.

Race day. As Ryan lead me to the elite tent prior to the race, I shivered. It was cold. I waited till the last possible moment to take off my pants. I opted to run in my Pinnacle Performance shorts. Worried I would be cold during the race, I layered up. Dry fit shirt, fleece vest, arm warmers, pinnacle Performance jacket, and Pinnacle racing top over all of it.

Ryan and I waited in the start corral. Two beautiful women, Jen and Wendy, came over to wish us well. Race began. It felt great to be on the race course once again. Five miles. I started slow. I would build to a strong finish. I was swept up by the cheers. I ran faster. Maybe too fast. Before mile marker one, I felt winded. I slowed down. Mile two. I realized I was overdressed.

End of mile three. Time to push. I felt winded. I cursed my winter injuries for preventing me from being in better shape. Nearing mile four, I pushed. Early in the race, I was running 8:50 per mile. I was now moving at 7:41 pace. One final obstacle. A steep hill. My pace slowed to 8:20. Once over the hill, I picked it up again. Final shoot. I topped out at 6:30.

My time was slower than last year’s Shamrock Shuffle. Considering my tough winter, I was happy. This was only the start to the season. Thank you Ryan Nord for guiding me. Thank you Jenna Parker for your friendship, encouragement, and coaching. Thank you Pinnacle Performance Company for sponsoring me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wanda Cobar At Chicago Made Marketplace

Are you planning on attending this year’s Taste Of Chicago? You can have food and drinks to your heart’s content. You can enjoy Chicago Made Marketplace. A section devoted to hand-crafted art, poster, clothing, jewelery, and other products made by talented Chicago artists

Wanda Cobar of Wanda Cobar Design Studio will be featured at Chicago Made Marketplace. Please stop by her booth, check out her designs, and purchase your favorites.

For more information, visit the city of Chicago at:

Chicago Made marketplace