5 Lessons on Effective Fitness Recovery

a.baa-Take-A-Rest-After-Hard-DayGoing from 1st marathon ever last year to 5 marathons this year while also racing all distances of triathlons requires some serious recovery sessions. Feeling every bone in my feet, and aches in leg muscles I didn’t even know could hurt makes me want to lay for days like this puppy.  As an ignorant/stubborn endurance athlete, I used to just know two modes: ON or OFF.

BUT – here are a few things I learned about recovering that have helped me in getting faster and stronger.

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Chicago: a world major and Mecca of the Poles

For three years I have been trying to get into the Chicago Marathon via lottery. Frustrated, I asked the organizers to add in qualification times, which they did! The times aren’t as harsh as Boston (3:15 M / 3:45 F) so we were already in.  Aside from getting another world major notch on our belt, Chicago was a must destination for us since my heritage is Polish, and this can be considered the mecca of Polish people in the USA.  We decided to take a red eye flight for this, and me having my back problems (blown disc) there was no sleep to be had.  We had a decent stay at a high rise airbnb right next to the convention center, and got to stay with another runner who the airbnb host was supporting.

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East/South Coast Runner Scene

A weddinrnr-phillyg brought Bessy and me to the East: quick stop in Philadelphia to see her family then the ceremony was in Virginia.  By chance, the timing was perfect for the final stop of our Rock ‘n Roll Tour Pass (An amazing deal of your choice of 3 RnR run races nationwide for just $200, and you can do the whole series for $400. Let’s not forget signing up last minute for one race can be $170).

We take a red eye flight so that we can get a taper run in before packet pick-up for Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.  Pre- “philly”-race fuel-up: signature cheese steak and soft pretzel.  The pretzels are baked fresh out of the factory and with natural ingredients.  Having an airbnb.com stay was perfect near the start, so we do a 1 mile warm up.  The field was stacked, many elites out on the course as there was prize money on the line for the mostly flat and beautiful course. It tours you through historic sections of the city then an out and back on the Schuylkill River.  T’was no P.R. for us but it was exciting to have Deena Kastor break the masters world record with a 1:09!

Bessy’s Mom volunteered at the finish line giving out medals, and got to see us both cross (first time ever).

After for the reward, we headed out to Sabrina’s Cafe for a delicious brunch: challah vanilla cream cheese stuffed french toast (B), and a blue cheese bacon frittada (R).  Yea it was so good it happened to be our post run breakfast till the day we left.

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Challenge Roth: a spectators race report

An opportunity was posted on the Tri Club San Diego mailing list for a writing audition, where the winner would be featured in a major film documentary about triathlon.  This is only for those who never done a 140.6 iron distance race.  I thought I’d pass this on to my wife Bessy, whose hobby is writing, as a nice little challenge test for her to hopefully just be considered.  She took it further than just consideration, as she won the free entry and took on the challenge of the race – Challenge Roth in Germany.  She thought great, plenty of time to get ready for the race next year in 2015… only to get an email back saying it is to be done in 2014, giving her only 8 weeks to train!  Jumping into it, zero to sixty (she took a break after the Boston Marathon) for the training load in no time.  We booked the flight which at last minute was pricey (and we still have to pay to ship the bike), but to save money would rent a mini van and camp in it on the race site.

camp out in mini van

This totalled $5000 for the both of us, which hurts our wallets pretty bad, but you must understand the magnitude of this race in particular as it is the Kona equivalent for Europeans.  Another incentive is that she is being filmed by the same people who made the movies “Spirit of the Marathon” 1 & 2 that was released in theaters nationwide.  The triathlon version is to follow Bessy, Mirinda Carfrae (2 time female Kona champion), Luke McKenzie (2013 2nd place at Kona overall), and Rudy the double amputee from Challenged Athletes Foundation.  I am sure you get the “big picture” now.

Para Olympic athlete Rudy Garcia

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Inaugural “UnOfficial Man” Report

What started as a race-simulation for my upcoming iron distance race… With 2 weeks of coordinating with Thao Vu & Roger, this plan became “UnOfficial Man”:  a free 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 run  on dedicated bike/pedestrian paths split into various combination options open to all ages.


  • 25 people registered to participate in combos of the disciplines
  • a finish clock
  • SS Program Guide (do just one part or, 70.3: 2 loops, 140.6: 4 loops
  • catered dinner after
  • a mini documentary of the transition area and finish line.

What did I learn?

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Newlyweds who are bonding as they get older by pushing themselves to new limits


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