Life Time Tri Chicago - Sprint Distance - TriathlonSprint

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Chicago, Illinois
United States
Life Time Fitness
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 27m 26s
Overall Rank = 192/2272
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 34/211
Pre-race routine:

I woke up and 3am and ate a Chobani raspberry yogurt w/ KIND granola and threw on my tri-suit. I had packed my bag the night before so all I really needed to do was grab my water bottles, say goodbye to the wife, and leisurely ride the 6 miles down to transition. I arrived shortly before 4AM and there were approximately 10 people in line ahead of me. Once transitioned opened I found my wave rack and luckily it was RIGHT by the bike out. I didn't think about this until later, but this meant no weaving my bike through rows and rows of racks with my bike going out/coming in to T1/T2! I chatted with some of the other fellas on my rack and we joked about how awful the signs for the racks were (at least 20 people asked us what rack we were - one number on one side, a different on the back). I walked the transition area a few times to get my bearings and to figure out the route from the swim in. I headed out of transition with my wetsuit, goggles, and swimcap started the LONG walk to the swim start.
Event warmup:

I ran into my friend Wade who ended up being in the same wave as me. We chatted in the chute while I polished off a bag of Jelly Belly Sport Beans (my go to now instead of gels - much easier on the stomach IMO). Did some stretching and counted down the waves before we were ready to enter the water...
  • 22m 7s
  • 820 yards
  • 02m 42s / 100 yards

This was the longest open water swim I had ever completed (400m was the longest previous). I found out I was doing this race 4 days before hand (won a contest through Fleet Feet). That day I went out and rented a wetsuit and practiced .5miles @ Ohio St Beach Wed and Thurs. I had a stop a few times during the trial runs to check distance and because I wasn't swimming very efficiently. Today however, I made it the entire length without breaking stroke. I got into a pretty good groove until the pink caps (Wave 13 behind us) caught up and created a little turbulence. Positives: didn't get kicked and completed the swim w/out stopping. Negatives: It's my weakest leg and it pains me to be slow :/
What would you do differently?:

NOT sign up for a tri less than a week out if I have a choice. Get way more open water time to build endurance.
Transition 1
  • 02m 14s

T1 went very well except my heels got caught in my suit which delayed me momentarily. It's not my suit so whatever, that will be a non-issue in the future. I had plenty of room on the rack to get my bike out and I felt pretty good that the other bikes were still on there when I got out of the swim. The 450y "jog" to transition from the swim out actually helped me make up time because the run was carpeted the whole way and I was able to make up a lot of ground...literally.
What would you do differently?:

I need to pay attention to the bike mount line better next time. I jumped on a little early and had my feet perfectly positioned on top of my shoes, but I was about 10 feet to early, so I kind of scooted along until after the orange line and then took off.
  • 39m 4s
  • 13.67 miles
  • 20.99 mile/hr

I made up a lot of time on the bike. After riding up the Randolph entrance ramp and making it over the river, I was able to get my shoes on completely and start charging with the tailwind. I started seeing Wave 11 and 10 calves about 2 miles in and I knew I had overcome my swim time. The road was not very congested at all and there was plenty of room to pass. There were WAY too many people riding in the wrong lane and a few cases of incidental blocking that was probably more ignorance than intentional. The turnout was pretty sharp and it took you right into a slight incline and also that 9mph headwind. The ride back had even fewer people and even with the wind I was able to keep the bike right around 20mph. As went got back to the Randolph exit I got out of my shoes and coasted into the bike dismount on the side of my bike ready to jog back into transition.
What would you do differently?:

Try to hydrate a little more on the bike. I had enough time, I just wasn't thinking ahead to the run very much and I probably could have used a little more on the middle leg.
Transition 2
  • 01m 46s

T2 went well. I don't wear socks for sprints and I have speed laces on my shoes so this was a very quick transition. Just had to ditch my helmet, grab my racebelt and throw my shoes on and I was ready to go. I took and long swig of ZYM before I ran toward the other end of transition where the run started.
What would you do differently?:

  • 22m 13s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 07m 08s  min/mile

Of the 3 sprints I've done this summer, this was my slowest time. It was also the hottest and the longest swim and bike I had done before running. I also feel incredibly slow when taking off on the run portion. Usually I'm doing road races where I'm in a corral so I have a pretty good idea of how fast I'm going in relation to everyone else. I got passed by 2 guys in the first mile but that was it for the entire run. At the first aid station I grabbed a water, drank half and dumped it on my head and kept going. I have run this road many times during training so I knew what hills were coming up. I grabbed one more water after the turn-around (skipped the gel - didn't wanna hurl) and headed back for the last 1.5 miles. I did a very poor job of studying the course because I didn't realize after we ran under LSD and got up to Columbus we were .1mile out from the finish. I had a strong kick left and finished just ahead of one of the guys that passed me. It's always nice hearing your name called out when you're sprinting over the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Pace a little quicker. It was hot, but I could have done a sub7 pace looking back on it now.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough open water time, not an ideal bike setup for triathlons, and not knowing the run course fully.

Event comments:

If I had paid for this race, I would have felt I got my money's worth. The entire event was well-supported, very organized, and FUN! The size of transition is the most overwhelming part. Once you realize you're not racing against 6,000 people at once, it makes the race much smaller and easier to manage mentally. It's basically just the people in your swim wave. Once you're past that, it's much more of an individual experience. I would absolutely do this race again, but next year it'll be the International distance. Happy racing all, thanks for reading!

Last updated: 2012-08-26 12:00 AM
00:22:07 | 820 yards | 02m 42s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/211
Overall: 1244/2272
Performance: Average
Suit: Aqua Sphere Ironman (rental - not sure the specs)
Course: Sprint was a straight shot up the harbor.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Bad
Time: 02:14
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:39:04 | 13.67 miles | 20.99 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/211
Overall: 171/2272
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Straight out and back on LSD. Some rollers over the bridges and interchanges. Overall a very flat, quick course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:46
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:22:13 | 03.11 miles | 07m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/211
Overall: 83/2272
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back to Soldier Field with a slight deviation at the end to the finish line on Columbus. Flat with some slight hills near the turnaround.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4