Chicago Triathlon - Sprint Distance - TriathlonSprint

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Capri Events, Inc
Total Time = 1h 30m 20s
Overall Rank = 159/1879
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 24/150
Pre-race routine:

Managed to get to sleep plenty early and handled the 3AM wake up time. Had a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and honey, and started to hydrate with my special sports drink mix (half water, half gatorade, with a splash of Red Bull mixed in). Finished packing my gear, inflated my tires, and rode about 5 miles down to the race.

Got a great spot in transition right next to bike in/out which was really helpful so I didn't ever have to run very far with my bike. Also made finding my gear super easy. Set up my area, walked to swim in/run out a few times to get a path, and walked through my transition.
Event warmup:

Lots of walking (I have developed a habit of starting all my workouts with about a 1/4 to 1/2 miles of brisk walking, so this works well for me). Walked down to swim start, stretched a little, and put on some sunscreen. Completely failed to realize that gear check was just south of the swim start, so jogged back to transition to stash the rest of my stuff, then walked back to swim start, put on wetsuit, and stretched while waiting in line for the start.
  • 18m 1s
  • 820 yards
  • 02m 12s / 100 yards

Waiting int he swim start chute I had to pee. Got myself to the very front of the group so I could be first in the water, get wide, and relieve myself. Failed. My race plan was to actually do that (minus the "relieving" part) so I could hopefully find more open water. Fir a bit I had lots of space, then all of a sudden I was surrounded and was at least 5 people back from the front. Start was pretty chaotic with all the testosterone in a M25-29 group. Remained calm with a measured pace and managed to not get kicked or punched.

After 50-100 yards settled into a rhythm and started passing those that started in from of me. I felt really strong pushing through the chop that everyone has been talking about. Really glad I had some training days in the lake in similar conditions. After maybe 300-400 yards started hitting the next wave, and at about 500 several waves. Never really had open space to get a real solid rhythm. At least 10 times had to pull up behind seveal back/breast strokers going next to each other. Tread to find a spot, and hit a hard 10 yard sprint to move past. Probably not the most efficient swim, but checking my watch when I climbed up the stairs I was right on my goal pace, so very happy.
What would you do differently?:

Have more confidence in my swimming ability and move to the front of the pack for the start. First tri (unless you count last year's SuperSprint) so wasn't exactly sure where I would stack up, especially given the conditions.
Transition 1
  • 02m 41s

Decent foot pain from running on the asphalt from the swim into T1.
Had to run up a small hill to get to my rack, so I used that time when I knew I would be moving slower to finally strip the top half of my wetsuit. Still really had to pee, but was still in wetsuit passing the porta-pots, so stopping then wasn't an option.

Got to my bike and got wetsuit off fairly easily. Took a quick swig from my bottle, shared nice words with the few guys from my wave that were there (I was so excited that there were still a lot of bikes there!) Bike shoes on, ran out, and clipped into bike fairly easily to start incline onto LSD.
What would you do differently?:

  • 44m 3s
  • 13.67 miles
  • 18.62 mile/hr

Got started in the right gear, up the on ramp onto Lake Shore Drive and ran straight into the headwind. Other side of the bridge over the river has a decent downhill, but didn't feel like I picked up any speed because of the wind. Little demoralizing. Rode the entire portion North in the little ring, and spent a lot of time in the drop bars trying to stay out of the wind. Luckily there was very little traffic since I was just Wave 7, so no issues with competitors.

Hit the turaround and check my watch. It took me 24.5 minutes for the "out portion, so if I matched that time going back I would be right on my target time to finish the race under 1:40. After making the u-turn I felt like I was shot out of a cannon! Thought I would be dead after fighting the wind, but instead I felt great! Switched into the big ring for the whole ride back and finished 5 and half minutes fast on the way back in, which included a bit more distance!

On the off ramp down to T2 slipped out of my shoes and had just a few quick pedals with my feet on top of the shoes before the dismount line.
What would you do differently?:

I just need more bike training. My speed for this race did exceed my training and expectations, but still feels well short of where I think I can get myself to.
Transition 2
  • 02m 30s

Narrowly avoided a guy in front of me who slipped going over the timing mats and almost ate it hard! quick 40 yard trot to my gear. Racked the bike, slipped on shoes, hat and race belt and took off. The need to pee was killing me on the bike and I couldn't take it anymore. I was ahead of my time goal, so I stopped in the porta-pots. Added a good 60 seconds to my T2 time (guess I was really well hydrated!)
What would you do differently?:

Not have to pee!
  • 23m 2s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 07m 25s  min/mile

After clearing the bladder I was ready to rocket out on the run course. I was still under my time goal and knew that my 1:40 was well in hand. First part of the course on the grass didn't feel great. Almost like a single track with room for just one runner and the hard-packed area, so had to do almost all running on the softer grass. Still felt okay about pace though, felt very under control.

Hit the first mile marker and thought I was at maybe an 8 minute pace. Checked my watch and... first mile was under 7! This got me pretty jazzed. I had a shot at getting under 1:30! I still didn't want to push too hard and having nothing to get up the hill to the finish, so tried to maintain my pace.

Pushed myself a little extra up the one hill after the aquarium. Old cross country habit of charging hills. Made a fancy turn to entertain the volunteers there and headed back in. The mile markers were only out for the 10K, so didn't know exactly where mile 2 was. Just tried to remain relaxed.

After rounding the aquarium started my final push up the hill and into finish, and finished with a good strong, long stride. Checked my watch 20 yards out, saw I was going to hit 1:30 so finished with a BIG smile on my face.
What would you do differently?:

I think I could have pushed myself a bit harder on the last mile. Still had a bit in the gas tank at the end, though the soles of my feet were burning (I took off my shoes as soon as I crossed the finish line)
Post race
Warm down:

Got my medal, cold towel, water, and bananas. Did some stretching and kept walking around to work out the muscles. Plus I had nowhere to go and nothing else to do since I was too dumb to find the gear check before the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Need more bike training. Maybe took in a too much fluids pre-race and could have compensated with more hydration on the course. Id I didn't stop to pee in T2 I would have been under 1:30 and moved up 2 spots in my age group.

Event comments:

Very glad I was doing the sprint, and had an early wave. There was still tons of traffic during the swim, but the bike was pretty open. I can see why a lot of people nix the Olympic. I watched a lot of the swim for the olympic after I was done, and it looked like a total mess. I can only imagine what it would be like on the bike course. I will likely do the race again, but will leave my first olympic distance to a smaller venue.

Last updated: 2011-07-25 12:00 AM
00:18:01 | 820 yards | 02m 12s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/150
Overall: 174/1879
Performance: Good
Total swim time includes a 1/4 mile run to transition. Actual pace based on the time I got on my watch was 1:56/100 yards (hit the lap button when I exited the water, and again entering T1 so I could get a real swim time)
Suit: Zoot sleevless
Course: Straight shot down Monroe Harbor
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 02:41
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:44:03 | 13.67 miles | 18.62 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/150
Overall: 344/1879
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: Out and back on lake Shore Drive
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:30
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:23:02 | 03.11 miles | 07m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/150
Overall: 147/1879
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back on the path to just south of Soldier Field
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4