Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Sprint Distance - TriathlonSprint

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Capri Events, Inc
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 18m 20s
Overall Rank = 33/1883
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 6/172
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:15, put down a ½ bagel with peanut butter, a Balance bar, and some OJ and then headed out to the transition area.

Watched a beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan on the way to the swim start. Saw someone with their race numbers on calmly walking a very expensive tri bike towards the transition area at 5:45am (but they were still a ½ mile from the transition area). They didn’t seem too concerned that the announced time for the transition area to close was 5:45am.

Almost forgot my goggles on the ground before lining up with my wave. Luckily, they were right where I left them. I overzipped my new QR wetsuit on the first try and had to get some assistance to get it zipped again.

Had a Hammer expresso gel just before lining up for my wave. One of the volunteers quickly handed me a cup of water to help wash the brown smudges off my face.
Event warmup:

Unfortunately, I didn't warm up much, other than the walk from transition to the swim start and a little stretching. That came back to bite me on the run.
  • 15m 24s
  • 820 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

It was frickin' cold. I’d done an open water swim at Ohio Street Beach 2 weeks before and couldn’t believe how much colder the water had gotten. The announcer said 68 degrees, but I’d guess it was 65 or less. Thank goodness for my new wetsuit, even if it wasn’t a full suit. My wife, who also did the sprint, is a big swimmer and she had always put down wetsuits as swim aids for non swimmers, but after the race, she was pretty interested in getting a wetsuit for next year.

The water took my breath away at first, but I had enough time to warm my wetsuit before the wave started off. It took me 200 yards or so to get into a rhythm, due to my arms feeling a little numb. I tried to draft off someone in front of me, but neither me nor the guys in front of me seemed to be swimming in much of a straight line so I was on my own for most of the way. There was a 10 minute gap between our wave and the wave in front of us, but at about 2/3 of the way, we caught up to some struggling swimmers from the previous wave. A few were holding onto the wall rope for dear life. At some point, a lifeguard boat must have pulled one or two out of the water because I looked up and there was a boat backing out of the swim path about 20 feet in front of me. The water was fairly calm, but a nearly constant smell of boat and generator exhaust made me a little nauseous during the swim. Finally got to the finish and was assisted out at the swim exit. Forgot to check my HR monitor to see my actual swim time, since the chip timing includes a 500 yd barefoot dash over rough pavement.
Transition 1
  • 02m 28s

Was surprised that only a handful of bikes were gone from my wave. Struggled a little getting the wetsuit off. I had only practiced transitions with the wetsuit a few times, but I think I would have only saved another 10-15 seconds or so by practicing more. Tucked a gel into my shorts, put on glasses, helmet, socks, and biking shoes and took off for the bike exit, jogging through the mud/grass.
What would you do differently?:

Can probably get my transition times down a little more with additional practice.
  • 37m 12s
  • 13.67 miles
  • 22.05 mile/hr

Wondered why my legs were already tired when first starting out, then I remembered that I’d just done a barefoot ¼ mile run. Beautiful and fairly flat ride up/down Lakeshore Drive, avoiding the occasional potholes. Saw 3-4 cyclists pulled to the side with flats, probably from potholes. Wound up riding most of the way with another guy from my wave and talking along the way. I probably could have pushed it a little harder, given that I was able to hold a conversation without too much effort. Tried to get the gel out of my pocket, but couldn’t find it. Was thinking it fell out at some point.
What would you do differently?:

Push a little harder on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 1s

No problems. Put on my knee braces and running shoes and took off. (I may be 38, but years of volleyball have given me the knees of a 50 year old).
  • 00m
  • 3.11 miles
  •  min/mile

Just before mile 1, as my legs were starting to feel good and I was going to kick it up a notch, I started feeling a sharp pain in my right calf. I thought I might be cramping, so I tried to slow down a little, extending my stride, and stretching a little with each step. This wasn’t helping much, so I stopped briefly to try to stretch it before mile 2 and realized that it wasn’t a cramp and stretching wasn’t helping. I sucked it up and ran as fast as I could the rest of the way with a slight limp, sprinting the last 100 yards. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but I was happy to find out that I’d still averaged under 7 minute miles. However, I was kind of upset because I was thinking of how well I could have run if my calf hadn’t started hurting (was hoping for 6:40 mile pace). After getting some water and Gatorade, I found the “lost” gel pack in my pocket.
What would you do differently?:

Warm up and stretch more before the swim.
Post race
Warm down:

Had water, gatorade, bagel, and a bananna. Stretched and then went to cheer my wife on to her finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Calf strain during the run.

Event comments:

I was pretty happy with my overall performance, given that it was only my second tri (did the Pewaukee sprint in July). Am thinking about trying an olympic length event next year.

Last updated: 2007-08-29 12:00 AM
00:15:24 | 820 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/172
Overall: 58/1883
Performance: Good
Suit: QR HydroJohn
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 02:28
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
00:37:12 | 13.67 miles | 22.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/172
Overall: 31/1883
Performance: Good
Wind: Little with gusts
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:01
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:00:00 | 03.11 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 5/172
Overall: 49/1883
Performance: Average
Course: Nice run along the lake, by the Shedd Aquarium and the planetarium.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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] 4