Chicago Triathlon - Sprint Distance - TriathlonSprint

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Capri Events, Inc
Total Time = 1h 35m 32s
Overall Rank = 435/2304
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 61/198
Pre-race routine:

Packed my stuff the night before. Woke up at 3:30a and forced myself to eat a plain bagel and some gatorade (when I'm nervous, my appetite goes). Also had a couple of Clif shot blocks. Pumped up my tires and double checked gear. Rode my bike from home to transition (with my DeSoto transition pack) which is about 3 miles. The lake front trail is very dark. Not well lit at all. Next time I'll have a light. Got there at around 4:40am and it was packed. Lots of congestion heading into the transition area. They checked everyone one by one for the red wrist band and the timing chip. This took awhile. I thought I was early! Now I know for next year. Not that easy to find a good spot. Had to place my bike in the middle of a rack without many good landmarks around (this comes into play later). Next year will arrive when transition opens (4:15am). Had a gu just before leaving transition.
Event warmup:

Rode my bike from home about 3 miles. Stretched a little. That's about it.
  • 20m 44s
  • 820 yards
  • 02m 32s / 100 yards

Started near the back and off to the right (east) since i'm slow. Kept running into elbows and feet which threw me off a lot. I practiced about 8-10 times at Ohio St. Beach, took an open water swim clinic, and even did Harbor Lights Tri for practice. Thank god I did those things because I think i would've have panicked otherwise. Even so, I did lose my cool a little and had to concentrate to get back into a rhythm. I never had to stop completely or switch to a different stroke but it was definitely sloppy. Worse yet,every time I got into a good rhythm and picked up speed, I would veer off to the right.....I mean way off. Some guys in a row boat were yelling at me to go left. It seemd like a long swim. I can do a mile without much trouble at Ohio but this seemed to go on forever. I was happy when it was over.
What would you do differently?:

Practice sighting and swimming in a straight line. Maybe learn bilateral breathing (i breath to the right which means I could only see out into the open lake).
Transition 1
  • 03m 20s

Lost my bike for a little. So many new bikes and balloons appeared since I left transition. Plus it looked different in the light. There were literally thousands of bikes. My black road bike looks just like most of them. Then my wet suit got caught on my right heel. Aargh! Oh well, not too bad really.
What would you do differently?:

get to transition early to stake out a spot that will be easy to find later. Maybe tie a balloon or something to the rack (but probably 2,000 folks did that). Practice pulling my wetsuit off of my dang ankles.
  • 45m 13s
  • 13.67 miles
  • 18.14 mile/hr

Decent headwind first half of the course (as anticipated). Riding left and passing on right not hard to adjust to (but a few riders didn't seem to get it). A few rough spots in the road but not bad overall. It was cool to ride down LSD. The gentle inclines on LSD felt harder than they looked. But overall, it was okay...better than the swim.
What would you do differently?:

Just need to get faster. I'm going to install aerobars. Practice "hill" climbing (although the little inclines on LSD can scarcely be called "hills")
Transition 2
  • 01m 52s

I'm happy with this time. I shaved off a lot of time compared to my first tri in may '09. I have a race number belt that i just grabbed and clipped on while I ran. Also, I could just slip my shoes on because I have Yankz.
What would you do differently?:

Run faster with the bike. Greater sense of urgency but this is improving.
  • 24m 21s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 07m 50s  min/mile

Legs felt a little wobbly at first and I started to feel a side stitch coming on within the first 5 minutes. But I took some really deep breaths and slowed down a little and the cramps never fully developed. Felt pretty good after the first mile. Kept a decent pace and pushed myself a little harder than in my first 2 tri's. Beat my May '09 5k time by 40 seconds and that was after only a 1/4 mile swim and an 11 mile bike.
What would you do differently?:

Just keep trying to get faster and push harder, especially near the end. There's no reason to leave anything in the tank.
Post race
Warm down:

Gorging myself on gatorade and picnic food. Then rode my bike home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My subpar swim performance, poor sighting, and I just need to train harder to get faster.

Event comments:

I was surprised that a race this big could be so organized. My swim started at exactly 6:34am, just like it was supposed to. The atmosphere was awesome. So many triathletes (wannabees like me). Lots of first timers too (but I had done 2 smaller ones before this one and am glad I could be overwhelming). Tons of volunteers and spectators cheering us was really cool. I'm planning on doing the Oly next year (yikes!) Overall a great race and a wonderful experience.

Last updated: 2009-09-01 12:00 AM
00:20:44 | 820 yards | 02m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/198
Overall: 938/2304
Performance: Below average
Suit: QR hydrofull
Course: Straight line swimming north parallel to seawall.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Time: 03:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:45:13 | 13.67 miles | 18.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/198
Overall: 626/2304
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Slight uphill on onramp to get to Lake shore drive then simple out and back. Foster Ave turn-around is a pretty sharp turn.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:52
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:24:21 | 03.11 miles | 07m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/198
Overall: 340/2304
Performance: Good
Course: Partly on pavement and partly on grass.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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