Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Sprint Distance - TriathlonSprint

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Capri Events, Inc
65F / 18C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 243/1883
Age Group = M34-39
Age Group Rank = 40/172
Pre-race routine:

Woke up before the alarm. Had the alarm set for 3 but we had a power failure the night before, for no reason, so I was paranoid and woke up at around 2:50. Anyway, got up, and put on the clothes. Then went downstairs, kicked on the coffee for Beth and Danny and Steph (two friends that were staying with us for the weekend). Went into the living room and started to pack up all the gear I layed out the night before, all the while drinking a little water and downing a cliff bar for breakfast.

The drive into downtown was very uneventful, which is what I expected at 4 in the morning. We took LSD and hung a left on Monroe. Beth pulled over, I hopped out, took the bike off the top and Danny carried my stuff and we went to the transition while the ladies parked the car. I was taken aback at just how many people were there.

Danny could only go so far, so I left him on the side and went in to set up my transition. Since it was by wave I had to find that rack. Not too hard, but it was a loooong way from the swim in and run out (same area). It also wasn't terribly close to the bike out and in. Kind of 1/2 way between both. I got there early enough that there weren't too many people there yet, so I got my bike by the end of the rack. Good placement considering. About the only thing that bothered me was that the ground was so soft due to all the rain lately. Whatcha gonna do?

Finished setting up and then did two walks from both chutes so I had a good idea of where to go during the race. Glad I did this, it paid off later.

Finally went outside to find Danny, and by then the ladies had showed up. Got to love Beth. I get there and she looks at me and asks why I still have my running hat on. DOUGH! So I went back in to drop it off. That's why she is my coach! :)

We then proceeded, with the masses, to go down to the swim start area. Man, this thing is huge and then I found out just how huge. Vinny, the voice of the Chicago Triathlon, came over the PA and announced "Welcome to the World's Largest Triathlon, as recently verified by the Guinness Book of World Records". That is when I really started to appreciate the enormity of what I was about ready to participate. This is going to be one interesting day.
Event warmup:

Got down to the swim start area and with about 45 minutes to go, put on the wetsuit. Then stretched out a bit and did a little jog to get the legs and blood pumping. Legs were aching. Think I might have walked around a little too much the day before. Oh well, too late to do anything about that now. With about 10 minutes before I had to go line up for the swim, Mum and Dan showed up. Gave everyone a kiss, hug or handshake and went into the corral to get ready.
  • 18m 2s
  • 820 yards
  • 02m 12s / 100 yards

So we all line up, by wave. Fortunately, you knew your wave by the color swim cap. Funny thing happened. We were waiting to go and the wave, two ahead of us, with white caps, were all in the water getting ready to go, about 30 seconds till start for them. All of a sudden, this young lady comes weaving in and out of the bodies trying to throw her cap on and goggles. I hollered out "Better hurry darlin" and she kept going. Vinny announced over the PA after the horn sounded that that young lady is actually an Olympic long distance runner from Canada. Nice to see Pro's can have the same issues us rookies do. She literally made it into the water with 4 seconds to spare!!! That must have been one interesting warm up.

Anyway, we get in the water to do a floating start. GOOD LORD that water was cold! Of course, an entire wave made up of 34-39 men there were plenty of shouts of "I've got shrinkage". And before we knew it, the horn sounded and we were off. I seeded myself up front and I'm glad I did. I really didn't have that much bump and push. Which means I was able to get into a rhythm fairly quickly. And I did. Actually ran into a life boat once. Oops. Fortunately, wasn't going fast enough to do any damage and just kept plugging away while chuckling at myself and thinking about hangloose and his concussion at PP Oly last year.

I found out, on this swim, that I don't like straight shot swims. It is hard for me to gauge how much farther I have to go. Sure, I'm sighting fairly well after the life boat collision, but distance is difficult to determine. Then I realized that the others were either out and backs or at least a loop or something so I can gauge, in my mind, that I'm 1/2 one, or 2/3 done or something like that. I couldn't do that on this so I just kept swimming. I finally caught sight of the swim out platform and really started to pour it on. We had started 10 minutes after the wave before us, and I was passing the BOP's from that wave. Man, they must be incredibly slow. Got to the steps, had a small stumble getting out, then I was up the stairs and on my way to the transition. Looked at my watch and it had just over 15 minutes. Not the best swim, but oh well.

Now, this run to transition made SoR look like a cake walk. This was over concrete! NOT FUN. I got about half way to the swim in chute and started to feel both calves cramping up. Crap. Not good. I haven't even made it on the bike yet. Fortunately, my bike was at the top of a hill which actually helped stretch out my calves. Looked at my watch and the battery low signal was on. Oh well!
What would you do differently?:

Probably nothing. I think the swim was quite good, just an incredibly long run to T1. Saw lots of folks with shoes for after the swim. Not worth it, in my opinion.
Transition 1
  • 02m 31s

T2 was a heck of a lot faster than I thought. Best one this year. Once I got to the bike (stuck behind a slow poke getting there) the suit came off very quickly and on went the helmet first, then the glasses and pocketed the Gu. Slipped both shoes on (the right on liner slipped a bit, but didn't want to take the time to fix it). Pulled the bike off the rack, and started to head to the exit. Got out of the exit, past the line, kept running and did a running leap! I DID IT without practicing. Clicked the first shoe in and I was off. Clicked the watch, looked at it and DOUGH, double clicked it so it was already in T2. Dangit. This watch is not going to cooperate today, so I stopped the timer altogether thinking I would save it for the run so I could keep track of my pace!
What would you do differently?:

I think the only thing I might do differently in the future is possibly get Tri bike shoes. Other than that, I'm thrilled with this T1.
  • 41m 59s
  • 13.67 miles
  • 19.54 mile/hr

I could not get my legs under me going out. Coming out of T1, I hit the hill well in a nice low gear and got to the top of it. My HR spiked a little so I kept the gear low and spun till I got to the down hill and upped it a bit to start getting my speed up. That worked for a little bit but my HR was still a bit high (not that I would know it from my watch since it was almost dead and I stopped the timer on it because of my goof up in T1, but I could just feel it, which is kind of cool that I now know my body without the watch telling me). Even though the hills were little, I was having a hard time on them, but I never got out of the saddle.

Finally, around mile 5-6 my HR started to drop, just in time for the turn around. So, I turned, had to pass someone on the inside because they took the turn so incredibly wide and took off. I knew I had it. Wish my Garmin was still going to get an idea of just how good my negative split was, but I know it was good because even on the hills I never got below 20 mph! Wouldn't find out till later just how good that negative split was and found out the whole bike average was 19.5!

Anway, hit the last hill, bridge going over the river, at a good clip. Passed tons of people on the course and was probably only passed by maybe less than 2 dozen folks. Made the turn down the ramp and started to stretch my calves by standing up and droping my heel's down. Felt good enough so I reached down and loosened the straps in preperation for the dismount. All went well and into the chute for the next transition.
What would you do differently?:

T.I.T.S = TIME IN THE SADDLE. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

Well considering the enormity of the tranisition area, to get in and out in just over 2 minutes is not too bad. I had one fairly slow person in front of me coming into the T2 and I couldn't get around them. Made it to the rack and had just a little difficulty getting the bike back on but not too bad. Off came the shoes, on went the runners, helmet off, hat on, off I go. Down to the run out chute and finally got to start my watch again so I could at least keep track of my run pace.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Good T2. Not the best of the year, but pretty darn good considering.
  • 26m 22s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 08m 29s  min/mile

Well, it now appears, based on my ranking, that running has become my weakest. Who knew? Anyway, three things happened coming out of the chute. The first was an idiot runner (NOT IN THE RACE) was trying to run down the trail into transition. The guy on the PA (not Vinny) was saying to her "What part of you cannot go through here do you not understand!". Funny. Can't she tell there is a race going on?

The second thing that happened was I saw to people walking fairly slowly but with numbers on. Then I realized one was sight impaired. So as I passed him I hollered out "Keep it up big guy, good job". He hollered a thanks back. Man, that really does show that nothing is impossible!

The third thing coming out of the chute was trying to find the family and friends. They beat me to it, they found me. Cheering on the side. Got me to grin big and Steph got a great photo of me smiling. Can't wait to get that one and post it. Actually she got quite a few photo's (120+ to be exact) and I can't wait to see the finished product.

Anyway, off on the race. Nice course. Mostly on the paved trail but part of it was on some of the grass. Either way, well marked and very, very flat. Only two small hills and they were more like bumps. Got behind one guy that was running and based on his number I could have sworn he was in the Oly distance, but he ran the whole thing. Anyway, passed by one girl ringing a cow bell and I hollered out "You can't have too much cow bell, this song needs more cow bell", and then he started in. We actually carried on a conversation for about 400m when he was going to slow so I passed him and took off. Kept a good solid pace going, not too fast not too slow. Right around 8:45, which is what I wanted.

Made the turn around and there were four girls ringing cow bells. This started off a fire storm of Cow Bell requests and they went nuts. Absolutely hilarious. Got me to giggling in the run and had me picking up the pace just a little bit.

Fast forward to the last 400m. Under LSD and up a slight incline to get onto Columbus for the finish. I had already picked up the pace and when I got onto Columbus started to really pour it on. Passed this lanky African-American guy and next thing I know, he is on my heel saying "Let's go" so we then really kicked it up. I know I went anaerobic for the last 100m because when I crossed the finish line, it was all I could do to not hurl all over the ladies cutting off the timing chips!!!!!!

Looked down at my watch and sure as shooting, didn't do too bad, averaged 8:30. Really need to work on getting that average down this year.
What would you do differently?:

I think I need to do some speed training, or something. I wouldn't do anything different on this run, in particular. I'm now consistantly averaging 8:30 or so. It's now down to training for next year.
Post race
Warm down:

After I got my finishers medal, I started looking around for the fam. Found them and got a cup or two of water to cool off. We chatted over the fence for a minute or two, they looked at the medal, blah, blah, blah. I told them I was going to get a nana and bagel, I did, and met them outside.

We walked around the area for a bit talking some more. Then we realized we had 2 1/2 hours before I could get into transition to get my stuff. So Beth gave me my clean clothes in the back pack and I went to change in a porto-john.

Came back and Mum and Dan said they were going to take off. Beth, Steph and Danny and I then went on a little adventure. We all agreed we were starving (they had only had coffee) and a Bloody Mary sounded great. Well, walk we did, for 30 minutes, trying to find a decent place for eats. We finally did, in a hotel, but of course liquor can't be sold before 11 am. I will never understand that. Anyway, I chowed down!!!!

By the time we finished, it was time to pick up the bike. The ladies went to the car, Danny and I went to the bike. He got to sneak in with me and was amazed at the size. Met the ladies back on Monroe, loaded up and took off for home to rest and get ready for what was a great Brad Paisley concert.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Two things limited my ability to perform faster.

1. Training in general. Sure I've improved this year, but that was one limiter.

2. The second is just the over all enormity of this event. Especially the distance from the swim out to the tranisition.

Event comments:

This was originally my A race. But after I got there, I just decided to have fun. I'm going to do it again next year, but I think next year, this will be my Oly bump race. That way, there is no pressure to improve from this year, I will just have fun, all over again.

Last updated: 2007-08-03 12:00 AM
00:18:02 | 820 yards | 02m 12s / 100yards
Age Group: 31/172
Overall: 278/1883
Performance: Good
Suit: Neo Sport sleeveless
Course: This was a straight shot swim, no turns with a floating start. Unfortunately, there is also about a 250-500 yard run, on concrete to get from the swim out to the transition area.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 02:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:41:59 | 13.67 miles | 19.54 mile/hr
Age Group: 49/172
Overall: 313/1883
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: The course is an out and back and just a few small hills. The worst hill is coming out of transition up about 40-50 feet.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:26:22 | 03.11 miles | 08m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 80/172
Overall: 564/1883
Performance: Good
Course: Very nice run course. Probably the highlight of the entire race. Basically along the harbor, along the back end of the Shedd Aquarium, out to the Adler Planetarium, turnn around in between the Field Museum and Soldier Field and then back around the backside of the Shedd, under LSD and a nice big finish up Columbus.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4