My Coach Wife



WEEK 22 – August 1, 2021 

I saw a post the other day on one of the triathlon groups I follow on Facebook and he asked if anyone else had a “coach wife” and I knew immediately what he was alluding to.  And I have the best coach wife in the business.

I’m not sure Kari intended to be a coach wife, she just kind of had the position forced upon her.  After watching me train and do races she just kind of learned about running and triathlon from the sidelines.  After I crashed and burned in the 2009 Rockford Marathon (3:43), which I ran alone without her or other family being there, it resulted in me taking a trip to the local hospital for an i.v. and a long walk of shame back to where I parked my car.  She swore after that happened that I would not be doing these things on my own anymore.

As I train for my fifth Ironman she is inquisitive about what I’m doing, especially on the weekend.  The other day she inquired about how long my Saturday bike would be and I said that I thought it was four hours.  “Again?  You’ve done the four-hour ride the past three weekends.”  I admitted that I was using a spreadsheet of the plan that my buddy Jeff shared with me, so I thought it could be a typo, but after checking the plan in the book, sure enough, the plan has three, four-hour rides in a row.  It is interesting how she picked up on that and I was just taking it for granted that it was correct.

Kari also began running and biking, and has learned even more about the sports and what they involve.  The funny thing is, she never asks about my input.  

Last night when I was turning in for the night, I looked at my watch as I laid it on the nightstand and wondered aloud if its 44% battery would be enough to get me through my planned five-hour ride.  Coach Kari immediately spoke up and said “Why don’t you just charge it?” knowing full well that my charge cord for it is right there next to the nightstand.  I didn’t debate with her or hesitate about it for even a second, I just grabbed the cord and plugged it in.  

There are numerous other examples, but in reality, it’s just her way of showing that she cares about me and my dumb adventures.  And I’m very glad to have a coach wife – make that the best coach wife ever.  

Cutest Coach Wife Ever!


I decided to swap Week 22 of the plan for Week 23 because I am doing the Big Hill Bonk – Last Runner Standing event next weekend and I wanted to take advantage of a taper week that Week 22 had in it.  

I started the week off pretty good, doing an open water swim with my coworker buddy Tom in Lake Michigan at Ohio Street Beach, Chicago.  It was a well-run event by Lifetime Fitness/Chicago Triathlon.  Tom got some great experience in some big, open water and also some well-earned confidence in being able to swim in those kinds of conditions.  I made him try my large Xterra wetsuit and I think that was a good experience as well.  He may do better in an XL, as he has more muscle than I ever will.  

A happy Tom after a great OWS in Lake Michigan.


On Thursday I got sick with some sort of stomach bug and it was bad.  Kari thinks I am ignoring a bigger GI issue, but it was just a stomach bug.  And the two things that come hand in hand with a stomach bug wiped me out.  I was not doing well.  But it ran its course in about a day, and I used Friday as a rest day to rehydrate and recover.  I was concerned that the planned five-hour ride on Saturday would be too much, so I swapped it with Sunday and things worked out well.  I’m still needed to stay on top of hydration, but I’m doing better.  

On to the Big Hill Bonk and running infinite 4.166-mile loops for as long as I can!

Swims: 1 – 1650 yards

Rides: 3 – 120 miles

Runs: 4 – 28 miles


Switching It Up & Getting It Done



WEEK 22 – Monday 7/29/2019 – Sunday 8/04/2019

We pulled the old switcharoo with the plan when Dave advised that Alex would be in town this weekend, so the training plan for this week was swapped with the one for next week.

The weather was pretty great this week, often just barely getting into the low 80’s, but it gradually climbed through the week and was pretty warm on Saturday and Sunday.  I was glad for the cooler temps as I was volunteering for a second week at the high school band camp.  Our band no longer goes to an actual camp, but rather opts to stay at the school and learn the competitive show for the fall season without the distractions of being away from home.  Camp was a success, and I was still able to get in my workouts.


My daughter Rebecca going through the paces at band camp.  I took tons of photos of the kids.


On Saturday I drove out to Dixon to meet with Dave and Alex and we started our ride around 8:30 am.  I like riding out there with them as it provides a different type of riding and scenery.  Dave says the same thing when he joins me on my routes.

Trying to take a picture of us riding requires skill that I lack.

The plan was to ride out for 2.5 hours and back.  At the three hour mark, we stopped at the town of Lanark and filled up our water bottles for the remaining two-hour ride back.


Alex and I goofed around while we waited for Dave to fill his bottles numerous times.


Dave joined us for one final selfie before heading out.


I was glad for that little break and we hit the road to head back.  Not much longer after that Alex started getting a little nauseated, and truthfully, I was getting dehydrated on this warm upper 80 degree day.  We kept at it but by the time we got back, we were beat.

Alex did about 10 minutes of the 45-minute brick run, but I summoned some extra will and joined Dave for 4.5 miles of post-ride running.  I was glad we got it done, but I was bonked.  It took a while to rehydrate but after a shower and some refueling at the local Subway, I was feeling better again.

I spent the drive home and the evening thinking about skipping the two hour Sunday run, but I woke up and decided to hit the trail.  I felt pretty good, got in 12.5 miles at an easy Z2 pace, and patted myself on my back for not bailing on the run.  Sometimes you want to quit on a workout, and this one would have been excusable in my mind, but when you pull on the shoes and get out there it really builds your character.  I didn’t quit on myself, and when the hard part of the training and the race comes, I will remember that.


I spent my afternoon with my son Ben enjoying the Cubs beating the Brewers.  A great way to end the week.




Swims: 1 total, 2100 total yards

Rides: 5 total, 162 total miles

Runs: 5 total, 40 total miles


On to the actual Week 22 next week!