The Chainlink

Five Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

Spidermonkey Cycling Girls’ Ride

How do you measure a year?

One of the things I love about our sport is the measurability. In a subjective world, it’s nice to have an outlet for determining success by numbers and efforts, in some regards.


In 2016, I fell a little short of my 1000-mile run goal. I started thinking it was pretty unattainable: an Ironman and a marathon and I still didn’t reach it? Damn! (see previous post: I didn’t like running)


This year, I met both of my distance goals. I surpassed 5000 miles on the bike (albeit some of those are computrainer miles–sorry to the purists, though I promise you a 100-miler on a computrainer is PURE HELL). I actually stopped thinking about this goal mid-summer. A late-season Ironman pretty much guarantees time in the saddle, and the journey didn’t disappoint. I joined Spidermonkey Cycling for some fivahm (5am) girls’ ride goodness, found new real estate, crossed state borders, had the time of my life on scavenger hunts with teammates and friends and suffocated while pedaling up to Jamestown with my Pearl Izumi ambador team in Colorado, visited Barlow hill a few times, and finally took a couple spills in the sand…in all, I left tracks in 8 different states this year–or should I say, the bike actually took me to 8 different states (of 9 I visited).

 1000 miles and done—not! (Thanks to another awesome Katie)

I also passed that elusive 1000-mile mark of running…by the end of October. Naturally, an early-met goal must evolve.


For the few individuals who have been lucky enough to witness some friendly trash talking on Strava…congratulations, the stats have been reset for 2018. For the rest of you–yes, we’re a little crazy.


After I hit my 1000th mile, two of my arch nemeses (and also favorite people) and I noticed we had racked up close to equal amounts of run mileage for 2017. After having lost an ego-blowing burrito challenge in 2016, a new contest was born. I was hovering as underdog in 3rd place but still had an Ironman left to go, about 30 miles behind Lauren Matricardi who had begun her “offseason” of cyclocross, and a respectable distance (maybe 60 miles) back from Kati Petry (the number of extra hours I had to spend to catch her…). These girls are fast and I am fortunate to get to chase them down on some of their easier runs. But the real takeaway here is how incredible it is to have this net of support–friends who are constantly pushing each other to be better than yesterday, in all sports and aspects of life. I think we all ran, biked, and swam a little more thanks to each other–even Matricardi, who threw in the towel on two or three separate occasions (despite being untouchable in the swim–she more than doubled our yardage).


It took me until December 29th’s nearly 4-hour 20-miler in a snowstorm to catch Kati. Anything is possible, but she sure didn’t make it easy on me. (And it definitely wasn’t a race for speed: it took me over 24 hours more time to put 10 extra miles on her. That’s A WHOLE DAY.)

My Twin, Kati Petry 

We didn’t officially contest our riding because of the indoor tracking factor (and knowingly declare Lauren our winner here). But with eyes for the run, I hardly noticed Kati swooping in to take me down on the swim, finally sealing my fate on New Years’ Eve, with 45 minutes to spare before closing time. I was beaten by less than 200 yards on the year in her most epic week of swimming yet.


Measuring 2017 in miles, PRs, and one big journey.


Swimming: 183,922 yards in 48 hours (2 days and more than 100 miles)


Cycling: 5128.6 miles (and then some…Divvy) in ~302 hours (almost 2 weeks of 2017 spent pedaling a bicycle)


Running: 1254.7 miles in 198.5 hours (more than 8 days of running)


With the support of my friends, I was able to PR every single distance BUT the marathon in 2017. Looks like I have my goal for 2018. Happy New Year!


Swim: Lauren 1, Kati 2, Lisa 3
Bike: Lauren 1, Kati/Lisa #not1 #twinning
Run: Lisa 1, Kati 2, Lauren 3

Lisa Luttenegger is a Chainlink ambassador and triathlete with Chicago Endurance Sports/Precision Multisport—racing any distance from Divvy SuperSprint to the Ironman—and a marketing agency project coordinator. She learned to ride a bike on a dirt mound in the back yard and hopes to someday return to these cyclocross roots and remedy her bike-race envy. Lisa shares a condo with her tuxedo Maine Coon, Joe Meower, and their bicycles: Freddie Mercury, MC Scat Cat, Batman, and Benji. 


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