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Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Capri Events
65F / 18C
Total Time = 3h 41m 13s
Overall Rank = 3789/4243
Age Group = Athena U40 180+
Age Group Rank = 7/10
Pre-race routine:

Saturday I decided to get to bed extra extra early knowing that I have a hard time sleeping before races. Normally I'm lucky to get 2-3 hours of sleep. I went to bed around 8pm and finally fell asleep around 11:30. Wake up time was 3:30am, so at least I got a tiny bit more then usual. My husband dropped me off downtown at 4:15am and I was able to set up transition pretty much in a similar spot as last year. It was in the middle of everything, (Hard not to be with 9000 bikes) but near the end of the rack closer to bike out. I ate a PBJ sandwich, had half a bottle of Gatorade, and watched the first hour of sprint swimmers go off at sunrise. It was peaceful and beautiful over the boat marina.
Event warmup:

  • 42m 28s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 35s / 100 yards

I was seated in wave 36 around 8:30ish with the Men over 50+ and Clydesdales. (Who all wore pink caps - Think they do that on purpose?) There weren't that many of us females in the wave. The water was reported to be fairly cold at 63, but having swam in lake Michigan a few times this summer when the water was more brain freezing... this didn't sound too bad. It was actually really chilly outside anyway, so I took my hoodie off and let my bare arms get used to the cold air. Once I got in the water my arms were already cool, so the water felt comfortable. I bought a neoprene swim cap at the expo the day before, but ended up deciding on not using it because I wasn't sure it was cold enough, and that whole "don't do anything new on race day" thing. (Which if it was cold enough I would have taken my chances)

My wave went off and it was crowded. There were 125 of us or so? I'm used to being a fairly slow swimmer which usually means 3/4 of my wave go off ahead of me, but it seemed every time I turned around this time there were pink caps around me. On one hand good, because it means I must be slightly faster the last year, but also sucked because it was hard to get clear of people.

This was a MUCH more pushy swim then I've had in my previously. I got kicked in the ribs and slammed in the head. I stopped and said "Ow!" (the guy must have heard me because he stopped and said "sorry"). My guess is that it was because my wave was mostly men and big muscly ones at that... But luckily I wasn't hurt or anything. Wasn't able to find anyone to draft off of, but I'm not real good at that anyway.

My time ended up being a minute faster then last year but considering the swim includes a 1/4 mile run to transition I'm not sure exactly how much faster I was. I'm guessing 2 minutes. Not impressive but for only doing 2/week for the last 12 weeks I'm pleased.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to draft better, swim faster, and not get stuck with the guys.
Transition 1
  • 03m 43s

Jogged 1/4 mile into transition and it went fine... Stopped to towel off arms because I was putting on a long sleeve run top (was still chilly out! yeay!) and to put socks/bike shoes on. It turns out my transition time was exactly the same as last year. Ate a few shot blocks.

I had on a Jersey that had my training groups name on it as as I mounted on the bike and headed up the onramp some guy yelled out "Maxmultisport!" and then as I slipped on my glasses as I was climbing he said "Nice move max!" (multi-tasking! woot!)
What would you do differently?:

Maybe learn to bike w/o socks so I don't have to put on socks.
  • 1h 25m 56s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 17.35 mile/hr

Bike was nicer then last year as they seemed to have paved some of the worst areas of lake shore drive. There was a nasty headwind though on one side of the 2 loop course. There are so many bikers that it's hard to pass and get back in the right lane quickly because there is a "open" crack that follows the road where the seams had opened up. Since I passed quite a number of people I tried to ride either just right or just left of the lane line only occasionally having to go all the way to the right. Tried to stay out of peoples way as much as possible but kept passing people riding 3 or 4 across so I'd have to pass far over.

I tried to remember to drink more then last year and I ate a packet of Honey Stingers which were surprisingly yummy. Remind me not to keep those around the house. "Smoothie Flavored"

I lost about 1mph/10mins on the bike from last year due to a combo of weighing 18 lbs more, and more headwinds so given that and my limited training this summer I'm happy enough, but I want to improve over the winter.
What would you do differently?:

Go back to my longer bikes. My tri group never had rides longer then 1:15. Last year I would ride as much as 42 miles or 2.5-3.0 hours.
Transition 2
  • 03m

Everything went fine. Remembered to take off the helmet. Oh, but forgot to put on race belt. D'oh! Knew I should have slipped it on for the bike... especially since I had long sleeves on which covered my race #s.

What would you do differently?:

Remember Race Belt and move faster
  • 1h 25m 48s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 13m 49s  min/mile

My mom and husband came down to watch me and I passed my husband on the hill just after T1 and he said "we weren't expecting you yet! Your mom is still up there." and he points... I stop give him a kiss and wave to my mom up the hill and run off. Grabbed a few Gus that they were giving out and only ate one strawberry one at about mile 4.

I wasn't really sure how the run was going to go given my training was really only 12 weeks this time around and I had some extended time off in the winter/spring. I was also carrying like 18 extra pounds from last year. I managed to run the first 2 miles, but after that I had to change my strategy to run/walk. Partly due to the especially windy bike which had fried my legs more then I wanted. I didn't time the intervals but just went with how my body felt. Run 2-5 mins, walk 30s-1min... and did this for the rest of the race except for the last mile or so I managed to jog it out. I did pass a few people here and there but not a ton. (race results say I beat 100 people) Feel like I saw more walkers the last year which I'm not sure why because it was such a nice cool day in the 60s. Looks my my group made signs for us too... I didn't see the one with my name on it because my head was down, but I went back later and saw it said "Denise and Debb U R Super Stars" which was also fun.... my first sign! :)

Okay the weird thing is I only was 3 mins slower on the run despite running nearly the whole time last year, so I guess the walk run strategy was working even if I felt like then run didn't super well I really didn't lose all that much time.

Again my weight was a factor in slowing me down this year.
What would you do differently?:

Train longer (more weeks) and get faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk back to transition is nearly 1 mile!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight. Sigh. Working on in. I've lost 90lbs but I need to lose 50 more give or take.

Event comments:

Despite being a super crowded race I had a good time even though my times really weren't much different then last year. I'm still happy with the way I've progressed. You do have to have a bit of patience when you have 9000 other people racing with you, but I think the vibe and excitement of a race this large are worth the minor inconveniences.

The vibe of coming in at the end with SO many spectators is pretty awesome. You do end up feeling a bit like a rock star.

I suspect I'll be back sometime in the future.

Last updated: 2009-06-18 12:00 AM
00:42:28 | 1640 yards | 02m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 3557/4243
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue Seventy
Course: J shaped
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 03:43
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:25:56 | 24.85 miles | 17.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 2740/4243
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: 2 loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:25:48 | 06.21 miles | 13m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 4143/4243
Performance: Below average
Course: Along Lake
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-09-08 8:16 PM

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Subject: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance

2009-09-09 1:07 AM
in reply to: #2395719

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Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
I'm SO proud of you!!  I would be so freaked out swimming with the big guys.  I haven't been hit or kicked yet but I know it is coming.  You must be tough.  Enjoy your finish!  Congratulations!!  You made us little Nutsos proud!!
2009-09-09 1:33 AM
in reply to: #2395719

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Congrats...those are pretty damn good swim and bike your weight comes down and your run gets easier to sustain, you're going to be really solid all the way around.  Great job!
2009-09-09 4:41 AM
in reply to: #2395719

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Great race report. Sounds like you had a really good race and an awesome bike, thats smoking fast!!!!

BIG CONGRATULATIONS on getting a PB by 10 minutes


2009-09-09 12:02 PM
in reply to: #2395719

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Cambridge, MA
Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Impressive bike, and congrats on the PB!

I LOVE those honey stingers.  The pomegranate ones are the best candy ever.
2009-09-10 9:30 AM
in reply to: #2395719

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Metro NY Area
Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Big Congrats!

2009-09-10 12:59 PM
in reply to: #2395719

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
nice job on a cold and windy day!
2009-09-10 2:05 PM
in reply to: #2395719

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Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Congrats!....and I agree with you on that wind heading north....yikes!
2009-09-14 2:36 PM
in reply to: #2395719

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Subject: RE: Chicago Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Just saw your race report.  Congrats on a great race.  You had an awesome bike ride, especially with that wind on the north bound loops.  Great run as well.  I hope to run into you at some of the running events this fall. 
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