Friday, June 18, 2010

A board eligible Paratriathlete.

Wow, It's been almost 3 months. I think that's a record.

So. let's see, there's been some exciting happenings over the past 3 months. Let's start with the most exciting being that I made the Paratriathlon National team! Last year was the first year there was such a team and I applied for the team not really thinking I would actually make it. It is a team comprised of 15 para athletes that will represent the US at various triathlons this summer. It was thought that only 1 female and one male from each classification would make the team so I was going up against my hero, Sarah Reinertsen, among other above the knee amputees. As it turns out, 3 female above the knee amputees made the team and I was proud to be one of them. Check out this link for more info.
The first race is the NYC triathlon on July 18 which is also the national
championship. If I do well enough in NY I will qualify for Paratri worlds which are in Budapest this September. The short term goal is to make it to Worlds and we'll see what happens from there. An additional race in there is the Chicago triathlon which is at the end of August. Since triathlon is not yet a Paralympic sport, this is one of the highest competitive levels you can get to as a paratriathlete. I am proud to say I'll be representing the US again at these races. So as I've said numerous times, GO USA!
With all this excitement, I have stepped up the training again. I bike and run considerably more than I ever have. I joined the Oak Park runners club and am loving the weekly track workouts I do. This week was mile repeats around the track. Never though I'd actually do those! But with the help of my coach Mike Durner at CTS the running group, the computrainer classes with the awesome Stacee Seay, and swimming with the Chicago Masters team I feel like I'll be ready for NY which is amazingly, only one month from today.
I'm finding that running races are becoming my best training and have done a number of them so far.

I did my first 10K a few weeks back in 1:02 and was extremely happy with my time. I also completed the Soldier Field 10 miler on memorial day and was extremely happy just to finish that one. My awesome friend Keri is typically my 'guide' for all these races and she paces and encourages me along the way. I even competed at a track meet with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. Brought me back to my high school track days and the good times we all had there.
Tomorrow is out first Blade Runner 5K of the season. We have 2 new amputees who are doing a 5K for the first time and is should be a great race.

On another note, and as equally exciting, I have officially finished my prosthetic residency. The usually 1 year residency took a solid 3 years but I am now a Board eligible resident and continue to work at Scheck and Siress prosthetics. There is a 3 step board exam and the first two, the written and written simulation, I'll take this August. The practical is only offered twice a year and I'll take that in TX next Jan. As excited as I am to be finished this means I need to hit the books and study up again. I'll be happy when they are over and I'm officially certified.

The Chicago Warrior Champions premier was earlier this week and it was a wonderful evening. Pam Redding did a phenomenal job putting it together and I think we had a total of 200-300 people show up. It was nice to have a local showing and a big thank you to the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame for hosting us all for the evening. If you are interested in purchasing the movie you can go to and you can order on there.

I participated in the Chicago Soldier Ride this past weekend and as usual I had a blast. I have forgotten how powerful the ride can be and as we were escorted through downtown Chicago on our bikes (I know, rough huh) I was continually inspired by the riders encouraging each other up the hills. One rider in particular who was thought he wasn't going to complete 1 mile on his bike, completed over 100 miles throughout the ride. Talk about inspiration. And as usual, the community support and cheers through the city as we went through were awesome. I wish I could take the time to go on all the rides. I was also lucky to attend the Wounded Warrior Projects annual gala in NYC. It was such a great evening honoring the men and women who have been injured and their families. Big timers like country singer Trace Adtkins, Bob Costas, Bill O'Reilly and country top 40 Bob Kingsley all came out to support the cause.

Dick and I made our way up to Door County, WI over a long weekend. If you've never
been I highly recommend it. The roads are a bikers dream and if I hadn't of been so sore from the 10 mile run we would have ridden around all weekend. Instead we drove around taking in the gorgeous sights. We even made our way over to Washington Island on a ferry and became a part of the Bitters club in the longest standing pub in the US. That's success right there! We stayed in this tiny cabin by the water and I wish we would have had a few more days to explore. Hopefully we'll make it up that way again before we leave IL for good.

And how could I forget that Little Leg's 6th birthday was in there! 6 years, can you believe the girl is SIX YEARS OLD? It was another great turnout held as a local bar this year instead of the home. This helped significantly with the cleanup time and even better that they allowed Jake to roam the reserved room and behind the bar all night. When we went back the following weekend, the staffers kept saying hi to Jake. Apparently he was a hit. But yes, LL is officially 6. She'll be a teenager before we know it.

In other exciting news, Dick is one week away from being done with his 3rd year of medical school! To me it seems as though the time has flown but I'm guessing he would would beg to differ.
In his 4th year he will head to Walter Reed for a one month away rotation and work with some of the doctors that worked with me when I was there. Oh what a full circle it has come. And it is highly possible that come next May we'll be moving back that way for the following 4 years. We'll find all that out in December.

I think that's all there is to report for now. Jake is still the best dog ever and still loves his ball more than life itself. I'll try to keep everyone posted on the NYC tri results before to many months go by. Until then we'll be at my parents house for the 4th of July and I'll make a brief trip to CO for the Jimi Flowers swim meet.

Until next time,