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Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Capri Events
72F / 22C
Total Time = 2h 45m 41s
Overall Rank = 1049/4089
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 184/503
Pre-race routine:

This one will probably be a long one. Just an FYI. ;)

Woke up at 3. Yep, 3 A.M. Oof that came early. Anyway, got up, fixed the coffee for Beth and I, and then started getting everything ready. Got the bike up on the car, water bottle filled and ready to go, hopped in the car and took off. Beth drove.

Got downtown and got into transition at about 4:35. Took me a bit to get set up. Transition is so large at this race. Got everything set up and then did a few quick walk practices to figure out where I needed to go when the race started. Got some land marks, but it didn't really work. But that will come out later.
Event warmup:

Really, didn't do much of anything other than a 40 minute walk to my mother's place to wait for my wave, which was at 8:41.

After getting to their place, ate a little food, not much, just a 1/2 bagel and 1/2 banana and some OJ and water.

Drove back to the race, walked to the start, popped a GU about 15 minutes before the start of the swim, got my suit on, jumped into the wave chute and got mentally ready.
  • 29m 26s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

Seeded myself in the second line of starters, just a bit to the left, since it was going to be a left turn around the buoy. Horn sounded and we were off. One of the larger waves I've been in. 125 bodies, churning the water.

The first 100m was a bit crazy. Swam around quite a few bodies. Quite a few indeed. Next thing I know I've caught up to the back of the wave in front of me and that was with less than 1/2 the way through.

After the turn, I got into a great groove. Breathing every three strokes and then sighting every 15 strokes or so. I kept a great line the whole swim. Only having to change direction to swim around those that were slower.

I sighted the swim out only about 100-200 yards away and I started catching the wave 2 starts in front of me. This felt great. Just great. I caught a few more swimmers and the next thing I know, I'm at the turn buoy to turn in to the stairs out.

I kept my head down all the way till I swam into the stairs. The helpers helped me up "thank you" to each one as I went up, and I was done.

Out of the water and by the time I was 10 feet down the sidewalk I already had the wetsuit top off and down to my hips. Then ran down the side walk to the transition area. I think it is about 1/4 mile run. I'm really happy with the swim time. That time, WITH that run on it. I smoked it.



What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Nothing at all. One of the best swims I've ever had.
Transition 1
  • 03m 4s

Huge transition. Massively huge. Ran to my wave rack and then ran past my bike. DOH! That's ok. Only wasted about 20 seconds finding it.

Suit came off likety split. Glasses, helmet, watch and shoes, in that order, went on, back came off the rack an I was off. Over the timing mat (watch still acquiring signal) and pushed off.

Not the best running mount I've ever done. Actually missed it the fist time. Yep, missed the seat. Heh, so I had to do it again, and almost missed it the second time. Got on the seat, clipped in the left choe, got moving and the second one in and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Pay a bit more attention to where the bike was and take just a second more to mount the bike. I was too anxious and it showed. I can do better than that.
  • 1h 14m 45s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 19.95 mile/hr

Went up the first ramp and got hit fully by the wind. This was going to be fun.

Tucked in and started pedaling. Started to think about how I would tactically attack this course. Knowing the wind was strong out of the North, and that was the first part out, I started to evaluate how my legs were feeling, how they were going to feel by doing a course 2x longer than I'm used to.

I was able to keep my speed around 18-19 while riding into the wind and my HR started in the upper 160's, but it started to drop quickly. However, at one point, I hit a pretty bad pothole (the course was riddled with them, including one that was filled with sand) and I heard something rubbing on the front tire.

Nooooooo! I reached down and checked the front brake. Barely touched it and the sound got worse. Oh crap. Pulled to the left, dismounted, double checked the front brake to make certain it was not rubbing. Spun the tire and it went freely. Phew! Remounted and took off. I've lost time!

Time to make some up. Tucked in again, and off I went. Made the first turn around (popped the second GU of the day) and knew that the tail wind was going to be in my favor. Still needing to avoid the pot holes, I got the speed up to 28-29 mph and was able to hold that for quite a while without having to push my HR up. Actually, it dropped even more (156-158) on the loop back in.

Passed tons of people. Easy to do when there were close to 5-6k people on the course. Was passed by my fair share of folks too. Including one hawt, super hawt pace booty from a wave before me. And there were a ton of flats too. I'm guessing I saw at least 2 dozen. I'm guessing pinch flats due to the pot holes. They were REALLY bad this year. Course littered with ejected bottles, ejected Profile Design puffs, I even saw someone's shoe cage and two different tubular tires that were ejected from someones rear holder. Not good. Not good at all.

Did the turn around to start the second loop and the wind was worse. Felt as if it picked up by another 5 mph. So again, tucked in and tried to keep it around 18-19 mph. Dropped down to 17mph on one hill going back out, but never let that happen again.

Made the far turn around again, let out a WOOT, and dropped the hammer. Still had some time to make up from the stop. The legs felt great. Better than I thought they would. HR was down where it needed to be. And I kept pedaling. Knowing I was already pushing my race limit. Already raced longer than I ever have before and still had the run to do.

Last hill up to the bridge and was only 1/2 mile from the end. HR still down where i wanted it. Popped my last GU about a mile back to make certain I was ready for the run. Reached down and started to undo my shoes. Feet were on top of them and then I made it to the hard turn around. Down the ramp, to the line, skidding stop and flying dismount. Into transition I go.

2 down. 1 to go.
What would you do differently?:

Try to figure out the sound while still riding so as not to lose time.
Transition 2
  • 02m 54s

Ran past the rack. DOH. Turned into the wrong row. Went al the way down before I figured it out. Turned back into the right row, then ran past my spot. Come on. Seriously. So I stopped. Took a deep breath. Relaxed, turned around and there it was, about 10 feet behind me.

Got to it, put the bike up, took the helmet off, and started to put on the socks. One was wet. WTF?!? That schmuck next to me must have put his wetsuit over the top and dripped all over my sho....... Oops, never mind, that was mine. Heh.

Anyway, got the socks on, shoes on, visor on, grabbed the belt and bib number and took off. Had the belt over my head and my number attached to it before I was out of transition, THAT's how big this transition is.
What would you do differently?:

Breath and pay attention when coming into transition. Collect my thoughts and not rely on happening up my spot.
  • 55m 31s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 56s  min/mile

Started out strong. But I knew it was going to be hard. One of the hardest things I've ever done. I wouldn't be disappointed.

Came out of transisiton, wasn't too far along and there was Beth, Mum and Dan. Got high 5's from them and Beth told me then what my swim split was. Talk about a boost in adrenaline. Yes! And off I went.

Hit the first water station and just grabbed water to pour it over my head (thanks to the most recent article on this wonderful site). This would actually be the story of the day. At each and every hydration station, I would grab a Gatorade and a water. Gatorade for the tummy and water for the body.

First mile was good and strong. Probably too strong. 8:15 pace. So I pulled it back a little bit. Second mile, though felt good too. Down to about 8:30 pace. And then I passed McCormick and we were out of any shade what so ever and it started to go down hill.

Hit the 3 mile mark and I was starting to hurt. Pace was getting close to 8:45 and I knew that I was in trouble. Started to pick off people, but also start up conversations. Trying to keep my mind off of the pain I was in. Legs were leaden and getting heavier.

FINALLY. The turn around. Gave high 5's to the volunteers at the turn around and then I was running back North. Into the wind. Oh, thank the gods. That. Feels. Good!

Yeah, the head wind on the bike was a tail wind on the run and made it hot. Really hot. Especially out in the sun. Now that I was running into it, it felt good. But the damage had already been done. HR was creeping up and was solidly at 183. And I still had 2+ miles to go.

But I knew this was going to be faster. Before I knew it, I was on the back side of McCormick and then the back side of Soldier Field. Spectator support started to build. Cow bells here, clappers there. And now I was at the 6 mile mark. 1.2 miles to go.

And I was tired. I so wanted to stop and just walk. Just take a break. But with that little distance to go, it wasn't happening. Straightened up a little, lengthened the stride a little, and kept going. Rounded the back side of the Field Museum and knew I was in the home stretch.

Picked up the pace just a hair, to finish strong and down the hill, under LSD, up the hill on the other side, and turned right onto Columbus. There was the finish line. I had done it. Pulled a double arm flex to show off the guns for the camera's and heard my name announced as I crossed the line (even though they mispronounced it) and I finished. Hit the watch, collected my finishers medal and cold water soaked towel (oh that feels good) and went into the end.
What would you do differently?:

Pull it back a bit at the beginning. Went out just a bit too fast. Other than that, I'm fairly happy with it.
Post race
Warm down:

Got water. Lots and lots of water. And a banana. And then tried to find the family. Never heard them at the finish (even though they were supposedly screaming their heads off when I crossed). So ate the banana, got more water, and then went back for a bagel. Happened to turn and look one direction and there they were.

Walked over to the fence to talk to them. I was beat. Tired. Beth then told my my total time. 2:45!!!! I couldn't believe it. I knew I was less than 3:00 but not by that much. I was still trying to get my HR down (still at 135 even up to 10 minutes later) and drinking. I gave Beth the bagel to hold cause I just wasn't hungry yet.

And then it hit me. I just just done a race and blew away my goal. I had pushed my body harder than I had ever pushed it before. I had completed a race that a fraction of a % of the general population have even tried.

I started to get a little emotional. It felt great.

I couldn't have gotten here without a few people to thank.

First and foremost, Beth. My wife. She has been a tremendous. Coaching me in the water and as I've progressed, on the bike and the run. Cheering me on, in races and in training. Counseling me through my tough races and training days. Being a teammate in an individual sport. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you more than I could ever express in words.

Secondly, this web site. From the plans that helped me get ready physically, to the forums and articles that helped me get ready mentally.

Finally, and equally as important, are all those that have been inspiring me on my logs. All of you. You know who you are. You too, were in my mind in the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This was my first, and probably only Olympic distance. I think I did pretty good. Transition probably dropped my over all time by a few minutes, as well as the stop on the ride.

Event comments:

This race is well put on. For something this huge to be put on, and to be able to get it pulled off so well, and be so organized, is nothing short of amazing. And to do it each and every year, job well done.

That being said, I don't know if I will be doing this race again. First, it is so huge, it can be a bit of a pain just to participate. Plus, unless the city does something to fix the potholes on LSD, the bike just isn't worth it. And finally, I'm going back to Sprints and I just can't justify investing that much money for something that is turning out to be a bit more hassle than it is worth.

But if you haven't done it (I've done it twice), I would recommend it. If for anything, do it for the experience. It is something else.

Last updated: 2007-12-18 12:00 AM
00:29:26 | 1640 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 98/503
Overall: 860/4089
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: South along the shore for about 300m, sharp turn around and back North.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:04
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
01:14:45 | 24.85 miles | 19.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 215/503
Overall: 1195/4089
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Up and back on Lake Shore Drive. Up to about Foster, turn around, and do that twice. There was a fairly strong wind coming from the North.
Road: Potholes  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:54
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:55:31 | 06.21 miles | 08m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 247/503
Overall: 1579/4089
Performance: Good
Course: South along the lake trail, split the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium, down by Soldier Field, past McCormick Place, and down to almost 35th street, turn around, back through that, and up onto Columbus to finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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

2008-08-25 11:57 AM

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Southern Chicago Suburbs, IL
Silver member
Subject: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance

2008-08-25 12:08 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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New York, NY
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance

great job!  congrats!

sorry you did not join us friday night! 

2008-08-25 12:09 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Davenport, IA
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
That's an AWESOME race Crowny.  Congratulations, man.  Looks like a lot of hard work paying off.
2008-08-25 1:08 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Urbandale, IA
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Look at you kicking bootay in the swim!!!!!!!!!  Good job, brother.  Well done.
2008-08-25 1:12 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
GREAT job destorying your GOAL TIME....yes, the wind sucked big time but made for a fun turn south!
2008-08-25 1:13 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Columbus, Ohio
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Great job Crowny. Strong Swim!

2008-08-25 3:11 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Ft. Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Great job. I agree about the road surface, that hopefully will get fixed for next year. Nice job...
2008-08-25 3:30 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
nice job!
2008-08-25 4:25 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance

GREAT JOB BUDDY!!!!!! Your race report almost made me cry!  I KNOW how hard you worked this year, and you did FABULOUS!!! I am so proud of you...I was so dissapointed when I couldn't find you (was busy tracking a lot of others too), but I was thinking about you all day, hoping you were having a great race out there.

You are a rock star!! So happy for you!

2008-08-25 7:45 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Arch-Bishop of BT
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance



Dude you rocked that race.  Well done.  absolutely awesome!


2008-08-26 8:14 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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McKinney, TX
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Awesome job crowny.......

Looks like you made the swim your b!tch......

2008-08-26 9:12 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Wow nice race!!! So you've beat my best Chicago time ever. It's on next year. OH IT'S ON! You, me and a date with destiny. Not the stripper from the VIP but destiny. Anyway a sub-30 swim??? That's just insanity. Nice work out there buddy and I'm sure I'll see you from teim to time. I'm thinking you should do the Great Illini HIM with me. You could totally do it! DOO ITTT! DOOO ITTTT!
2008-08-26 9:26 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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Gold Coast Australia.
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Yeah, fantastic effort and really good time. I heard that they would be doing something on LSD, so there's hope. Congratulations!
2008-08-26 10:01 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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Lake in the Hills
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Nice Job Crowny- that wind was tough.
2008-08-26 10:48 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Wow!! Way to rock the race and crush your goal time!!  You did great!!!
2008-08-26 11:47 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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Extreme Veteran
Podunk County, MN
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Woohoo!  You nailed it and then some!  Awesome race, great RR.  Way to go on your swim, and gutting it out on the run after a great bike split.

2008-08-27 4:19 PM
in reply to: #1625906

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Winter Park, Florida
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance


Great attitude and great approach to the event.  This was my first time at Accenture and it certainly was a memorable experience!  Your race log brings a lot of what we all went through into a more contructive prospective.  Keep up the good work and good luck on your Sprint's next year.

I'm sure the Oly's are not totally out of the picture just yet....

2008-09-01 6:34 AM
in reply to: #1625906

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London, UK
Subject: RE: Accenture Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Great Job. Especially for a Liverpool supporter

You really nailed the swim and bike part of this and then persevered on the run. Great stuff. My first , and so far only OLY was the same. Great - Great - Suffer

As for loosing your way in transition, I don't know if you do this already, but I lay out this super nasty Finding Nemo Beach towel on the ground. No way I'll be running past that sucker

Great race report too.

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