Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Life Time Fitness
75F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 51m 39s
Overall Rank = 682/2708
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 19/156
Pre-race routine:

I had hoped to rack my night the day before, but the monsoon conditions prevented that from happening! So that meant I would need to get up extra early the day of so I could take the CTA to the race. I went to bed around 9:30 (didn't fall asleep until 10:30) and woke up at 2:45. I had an English muffin with PB and a little honey smeared on top and a cup of coffee, and then hit the "L." I got to transition around 4:30, set up and then checked out the lay of the land. I then realized how freaking far it was from swim out to the transition area...holy cow!

Met us with my fellow CES race groupers, and enjoyed our own porta-pot as well as dry grass to sit down in pre-race.Got a bit hungry again around 5:30 and ate part of a Clif Bar.
Event warmup:

Walking from transition to swim start!
  • 35m 36s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 22s / 100 meters

At lease the course navigation was easy, because the rest of it was HARD. Even though we were in a protected harbor, the water was rough and made me feel as if I was in a washing machine.

Although the city had worked on cleaning the harbor, there were still bogs of seaweed floating around which at points made swimming difficult as well.

Into my swim I caught up with some of the folks from the wave ahead of me, and IMO there were a few "aggressive" swimmers in that group. I got through it with a few elbows to the head, but otherwise in one piece.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, I'm really pleased with the swim performance and I don't think I would do much different other than site more. I may not be the fastest swimmer out there, but I feel proud of this time considering the conditions.
Transition 1
  • 03m 8s

Nothing much to say here. The previous day's monsoon had left transition extremely muddy and slick. My feet were caked by the time I got to my rack, but I had brought an extra towel and water bottle to wash them off. Had a slightly hard time getting suit over my timing chip, but otherwise it went smooth.
What would you do differently?:

Gain super powers to change the weather so transition wouldn't be so muddy? :-p Transition went pretty smooth and was uneventful, so I'm happy with the time.
  • 1h 16m 45s
  • 40 kms
  • 31.27 km/hr

At the expo Tim O'Donnell was signing autographs. When I got up to the table I asked him what advice he would give someone like me doing their first Oly. He said "go out harder on the bike than you think you should...chances are your legs will still have plenty left to get through the run." So I took his advice and gave it my all on the bike.

Lakeshore Drive has more rollers than I had recalled in the past. However, that was mitigated by the awesome tailwind we had going north. I was really picking up some speed, and then when I turned to go south I realized why! Those hills were much harder with a headwind too LOL, so I guess it ended up being a wash! Then we got to Intermediate Wacker and the fun wind and cycling fast down a tunnel was exhilarating. We faced the headwind on the busway again, but of course that turned into a nice tailwind going back in towards transition.
What would you do differently?:

I think I need to just get more experience riding on hills and getting better at shifting...I felt that aspect of my performance was hit or miss. However I was happy with my effort level, as I really layed it out as much as I could.
Transition 2
  • 03m 14s

I got back to my rack, and discovered the two who had racked on either side left no room for my bike! I couldn't squeeze it in whatsoever so I got my bike in as far as possible and left it standing between the two. I would have been out of transition faster if I didn't spend time jiggering to get my bike in.

When I went to take off my shoes, I accidentally stepped my socked foot in a big clump of mud...ewww. At any rate can't stand around and mourn a wet, muddy foot right? I shrugged, put on my shoes and got the hell out of dodge.
What would you do differently?:

I can't control things I can't control! My problem racking my bike is one of those things you have to deal with in triathlon...roll with the punches and move on.
  • 52m 55s
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 17s  min/km

Despite the very humid conditions (95% at race start!) and warm I think I had a great run. I'm a fairly strong runner and it's usually by far my best of the three sports, but after giving it 110% on the bike and swam a strong 1K I wasn't sure if my legs would have any gas. I didn't really feel I had any hope of hitting a sub 3 race so I just listened to my body. The first couple miles were definitely adjustment miles after the bike, but then my legs started to revive and I picked up the pace.

The race course was awesome, mainly because there was a water table almost every mile. So at every table, I would walk through, take in fluids, dump some on my head and get going again. Every time I met one of my fellow training groupers on the path we would give a thumbs up or a five...little things that picked up the spirits. By the end I was feeling really strong and I knew I had it in the bag.

I crossed the finish line, and I about fell over...not only did I finish the race, I did it sub 3! Official was 2:51:39...very pleased with my first Oly!
What would you do differently?:

I suppose doing more bric workouts could help, but I think no matter what your butt and legs are going to feel weird after cycling. I think it's just more about knowing that feeling won't last forever.
Post race
Warm down:

Found my husband at the finish, and did some stretches. Went back to the training group post race tent where I had a few beers, some goldfish and some pretzels. Drank gatorade/water, but probably drank a bit more beer than other fluids haha.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Humidity, headwind and rolling hills!

Event comments:

What a great race. It was organized and very well run! Transition was a bit messy, but I guess in downtown Chicago your choices are limited when it comes to large spaces to rack thousands of bikes. I loved the cycling course, and I really appreciated the amount of water tables on the run. Also, the crowd support was amazing. The one issue I had was that the Lakeside path was kept open to the public, and during the run I would often have to dodge a cyclist, runner or tourist - however my understanding is the city won't or can't shut down the path for races. At any rate, it was a great race and I definitely plan on doing this race again!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-08-24 12:00 AM
00:35:36 | 1500 meters | 02m 22s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/156
Overall: 1203/2708
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Synopsis wetsuit
Course: Course was easy enough...swim out towards Shedd aquarium, then turn around and swim straight down until you get to swim out.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:08
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:16:45 | 40 kms | 31.27 km/hr
Age Group: 0/156
Overall: 953/2708
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Up Lakeshore Drive, turned around on Hollywood Ave, went back down Lakeshore Drive, down to Intermediate Wacker Drive to Jackson Ave & back, then down busway along Metra tracks and back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:14
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:52:55 | 10 kms | 05m 17s  min/km
Age Group: 0/156
Overall: 569/2708
Performance: Good
Course: South through the Museum Campus, past McCormick, turning around at 31st Street and then running back up to end at roughly Columbus/Balbo.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5