Life Time Tri Chicago - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Life Time Fitness
Total Time = 2h 59m 24s
Overall Rank = 869/2802
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 131/353
Pre-race routine:

I had to be checked in pretty early (5:45) and my wave didn't start until 8:54 so I rode my bike down to checking and then waited around and cheered on racers in earlier waves. This was the first year we had to have our bag checked to get into the transition area and everything went really smooth.
Event warmup:

There isn't anywhere to warm up before the race. This is one downside to the race. You get one minute before your wave begins to jump in the water and get acclimated and then off you go.
  • 36m 42s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 27s / 100 meters

Everything went to plan. The swim makes my anxious and my goal was to do the front crawl the entire way. I started out going at what felt like a slow pace, but after about half way it became more difficult to keep the pace. This course starts with about 500 m to the south and then you make a 180 deg turn a round the buoy and swim past the start and to the finish area. The 180 turn at the buoy gets a little congested and I just focused on getting around as quickly as possible and try to stay calm with the jostling and chaos. I didn't breath well and started to Greek out so I flipped on my back for about 50m to catch my breath and calm down. Then back to the front crawl which I continued to the finish. I am able to breath on either side so navigation was simple with the sea wall to the west. The swim also includes a 1/4 mile run from the swim end to T1. It is on a paved trail, but they did a good job carpeting the asphalt so barefoot didn't bother me.
What would you do differently?:

There are about 40 waves (I was near the last of the waves), and you need to stand in a corral for about 30 minutes as you wait for the 5 or so waves before you to start. I decided to get in my wetsuit before I got in the corral and because it was nearing 9 when I started the air was warm and I was sweating like crazy. I was thirsty when i left the water and this came back to bite me in the bike and definitely in the run.
Transition 1
  • 02m 40s

T1 went pretty smooth. I'm a slower swimmer so I normally have a lot of space. This was good today because the racks were very cramped. They said there should be something like 8 racers per rack, but someone's math was off because there definitely were not enough racks. More like 15 racers plus an evergreen tree in the way on our rack, but like I said I'm a slow swimmer so the cramped bike rack didn't effect me. Plus all the other racers were very nice and didn't take up excessive amount of space.
What would you do differently?:

I just took my time. Next time maybe pick up the pace.
  • 1h 06m 19s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 22.48 mile/hr

I was happy with the ride. I think if I had had more fluids, and my bike wasn't shifting well so I think had these two things been better I could have pushed my average speed up another 0.5 mph.
What would you do differently?:

More water. Have bike checked before the race to get shifting correct.
Transition 2
  • 03m 33s

I took my time and drank most of the second water bottle I brought along but didn't put on my bike. I hoped this would help me on the run. It was getting very hot and the sun was just blazing.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 10m 8s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 11m 17s  min/mile

I knew this was going to be painful, I just thought the pain would begin later than it did. I was trying to run slow and make it to the first water station because I was dying to drink some water (my coke concoction was too sweet). I made it about 1/2 mile and then my quads cramped and would not let up. I stopped and tried to stretch, but it didn't matter. I began walking and saw my wife soon after. She saw me walking and knew something was wrong. I told her I was dehydrated and cramping. She said a water station was just ahead and I began walking to it. I got to the station and drank about 4 waters. I almost instantly felt a little better and so I tried running. I made it about 100 yds and then I cramped again and so I walked again. This continued through the next 2 water station. And by the fourth I finally felt good enough to run the entire distance to the next water station. I would get there and then drink 2 waters and 2 gatorades. It was really hot and there isn't much shade, but I wanted to just be done and finish in under 3 hours. So I kept checking my stopwatch to calculated how much time I had. By the time I got near the finish line I was still running, but I was dangerously close to talking myself into just walking. I saw my wife about 100 yes from the finish and gave her a half assed wave and then trudged to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing at this point. I think everything went as good as possible considering my dehydration on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked through the finish area but all I wanted to do was get in some shade. The finish area is out in the street and I was to the point I had chills from probable heat exhaustion and dehydration. I didn't even get my free beer, but got a couple ice cold towels to cover my head and shoulders. I grabbed a water bottle and Gatorade bottle, and I quickly down both. I exited the finish area and stood in the shade as I waited for my wife.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of fluids/training

Event comments:

The race was good overall. I think the bike portion was somewhat dangerous. The blame is on the racers for not going to the pre-race meeting and not reading through the rules. In each instance it was clearly emphasized passing was to be done on the right and blocking was illegal. I think an announcement before the race when everyone is setting up transition areas would be a good idea. Just a reminder of the passing rules. That's my only bad thing to say about the race. Besides that it was pretty cool to race up and down Lakeshore Drive and through the harbor and down the trail. This is a great beginner race if you are nervous about the swim. The sea wall is always close so you can navigate easily and for the sprint you can hold onto the wall at any point to catch your breath or calm your nerves. I highly recommend it.

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Last updated: 2013-01-03 12:00 AM
00:36:42 | 1500 meters | 02m 27s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/353
Overall: 1325/2802
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeved suit
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:40
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:06:19 | 24.85 miles | 22.48 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/353
Overall: 75/2802
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: The bike course was pretty cool, but also a little dangerous at times. The course is on Lakeshore Drive and takes up the inside two lanes in either direction. Passing is done on the RIGHT according to the race rules, but this was missed by about a quarter of the racers. Slow people were hugging the left and the right at times which made passing kind of hairy... Do you say on your left or on your right? I just said in the middle and passed as quickly as possible. There would often be a row of riders about 4-5 abreast taking up the left portion of the bike lanes. This is the correct side to be riding on, but they were blocking other riders from passing unless the passer went close to the car traffic on the outside lanes. Twice, the groups weren't aware of the space they were taking up and so they didn't move over when I said, "On your right". So I would begin to pass, and as I was passing a group like this they would come up on a person riding slow on the rightish, wrong side to ride on, and the person I was passing would swerve towards me to pass the slow person hugging the wrong side. This would make me need to swerve out dangerously close to the car lane. I always make a point to be courteous and say on your left (or right in this case) when I pass while practicing. I know I said on your right every time I passed someone today because it is just a habit and I had to in order to stay safe with all the riders. I'm glad everyone got through the ride safely, but it is a good reminder to always at least read the rules of the race so these types of things don't put myself or others in danger. Like I said this happened to me twice, and I saw it happen to at least 3 other racers. Back to my race plan. I did a terrible job of training in the last two months before the race, so my goal was to have a fun swim and then tear up the bike, and see what happened on the run. The bike course is two laps and on the first everything was excellent, I was cruising and feeling great. I had one bottle of half coca-cola half water and this seemed to be working well. But as I began setting out on the second lap I realized I had drank 2/3 of my bottle and I was super thirsty. I was able to ration out the water to last me the second lap, but my mouth was nearly dry and my coke mix had too much coke... Too sweet and by the end I was forcing myself to drink because I knew I needed the fluids. This caused me to slow down on the last half of the second lap, and I could see the writing on the wall for the run. It wasn't going to be pretty.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:33
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:10:08 | 06.21 miles | 11m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/353
Overall: 1741/2802
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back on the Lakefront Trail. Nice easy run with just one short, quick hill after the Shedd Aquarium. The firefighters had a truck out at about mile 3.5 which was near the turnaround. I think this may have saved my life and I made sure to thank them.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4