Smile, or so it goes

Every now and then I stop and wonder what exactly I have done with my life. Returning to Chicago after a botched half ironman in Saint Croix, my lungs still aching from the (admittedly stupid) decision to finish a race while coughing up blood, I found myself deep in one of these melancholy states. Except melancholy really doesn’t describe it because – while I was (am, will probably continue to be) questioning my goals and motivations and wants – my emotional response to all the uncertainty has been a chronic cheerfulness. I mean, life is pretty good back in Chicago. Abby is here, and with spring in the air my dog has been ecstatic to run with me again. Sure, my friends and family are freaked out about the whole bloody sputum thing, but – one way or another – I’ll figure this out like every other obstacle that threatens my goals. See, the things that really matter aren’t really caught up in my finishing time in Saint Croix or whether I win my next race, or the one after that. I’ve had a crummy spring, but through it all I haven’t lost any friends (I’ve made some wonderful new ones), and (while it may not be as lucrative as when I’m winning) I still get to triathlon for a living.

Here’s a photo series with some of the highlights of my first couple weeks back:


My dog didn’t seem to notice I was gone.20140521_185141_Android

Asics opened a new store in Wicker Park, and I went to the opening night with Chicago Area Runners Association.




[left]: Odin got to play with Andrew Starykowicz’s pups while we went out for long rides North of the city.

[right]: Abby celebrated being home with gluten free pancake brunch, all ready to go when I got back from the group ride.


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I got some cool new gear, like my Rudy Project Wing 57 and the Cobb JOF in pink


I went to the Gatorade Sport Science Institute for some physological testing. They tested my metabolic requirements at various running speeds, my sweat rate, and the electrolyte concentration of my sweat. It was really cool, but I only got a picture of the lobby.


We stayed the weekend in Milwaukee with my college friend, Mike, and his wife. Above is Mike carbonating our homemade ginger beer with his home made carbonator. Mike is training for a trail marathon run and I joined him for a long run in the woods. It was really fun.


Abby and I went on a tandem bike ride in Milwaukee too. Now I want to buy a tandem bike and drag her on all my long training rides. She can even have the pink saddle if she’s willing to keep me company.


My dog is quite handsome. This is us by the Museum of Science and Industry, enjoying the last weekend before the beaches open in Chicago. I know, I post a lot of dog pictures. If he had thumbs I’d make him take pictures of me, but it’s hard to be the photographer and the subject.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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