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Life Time Tri Chicago - Sprint Distance - Triathlon

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
Life Time Fitness
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 41m 1s
Overall Rank = 810/2265
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 85/169
Pre-race routine:

We flew into Chicago on Friday and stayed in the suburbs near Eric and Shon’s house. On Friday afternoon, I went to their house and put the bike together. It was the first time that Eric, Bill, and I had been together in six years, so it was a big occasion. On Saturday’s brief ride and run, I discovered that my Garmin battery had died in transit. I would be doing the race with no HR or location data. After we all had breakfast at Shon and Eric’s, Jenna and headed downtown to the host hotel and expo. After an early dinner with everyone, we had a shortened night of sleep before an early start on Saturday morning
Event warmup:

The walk from the hotel to transition was a lot longer than anticipated (over a mile), and with 7000 participants needing to have bags examined (new post-Boston Marathon security measures), there were long lines to get into transition. I got my area set up with 12 minutes to spare before transition closed. I then started the long walk back to the swim start. Even though I had thought I was allowing plenty of time to get everything done in the morning, I rushed to get the wetsuit on, made my way through the crowd, and joined my wave 8 minutes before the start
  • 18m 55s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 31s / 100 meters

The swim was set up for me to perform well. The space was narrow (it was a little strange to swim with spectators standing a couple of feet above on the sea wall), the temperature was comfortable, and the water was calm. However, I just never really got into a good rhythm. It could have partially been due to the chaotic start to the morning, or that I hadn’t worn the wetsuit since San Diego in June, but I was out of synch. I didn’t have any discomfort or panic, so I just slowly made my way down the course. I did get bumped under the water once by someone speedy from a later wave, so I lost a little time regaining my composure from that. For the most part, I remained surrounded by other people from my wave. Not a great swim, but not horrible either.
What would you do differently?:

I might have done better if I had done a pool swim in the wetsuit in the week leading up to the race. I also might have been more calm at the start had I left more time to get from the hotel to transition and the swim start. Live and learn – I guess you can never be too early when it comes to big events.
Transition 1
  • 03m 42s

The run/hike from the swim exit to transition was long and up a hill, so it took a little extra time, and not wanting to run barefoot on pavement with a surgically repaired knee, I didn’t rush. Once I reached my spot, I didn’t waste any additional time getting ready to start the bike
  • 38m 42s
  • 13.7 miles
  • 21.28 mile/hr

Since the run was a wild card six months after knee surgery, and the swim had been so-so, the bike was really my only chance to turn in a good performance. I also had the advantage of being in an early wave, before the course got too crowded. Even though there were plenty of people to pass, I was able to do so without impeding progress or adjusting speed. Without the Garmin, I am not sure of my heart rate, but I felt like I was pushing the pace without being out of control. I counted down the miles until the turnaround, and headed back. I was maintaining a speed of around 22 mph most of the time, slowing down to 18 or so up the overpass ramps. I thought that would give me a good chance at a decent average speed. Near the end, I heard a clinking sound as if I had hit something. The bike still felt okay and I had not dropped my flat repair kit, so I wasn’t sure what it was. When I returned to pick up the bike after the race, I found a flat rear tire. I think I dodged a bullet there, as I rolled back into transition before it lost all of its air. The bike results were pretty good , as I had hoped. I finished in the top 7% of the field for the bike course, and held an average speed of 21.2mph
What would you do differently?:

Nothing – I am comfortable with the performance on the bike course
Transition 2
  • 02m 49s

It took a little more time than usual to navigate a large transition area, but no wasted time
  • 33m 50s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 10m 49s  min/mile

The run was always going to be the unknown going into this event. I had meniscus surgery about six weeks prior, and had just begun to ease back into running. To resume running, I had started a Couch to 5k training plan, and was only a couple of weeks through it. Prior to race day, the longest stretch of running called for by the plan was five minutes at a time. Even though my training sessions had demonstrated that my biggest limiter at the moment is lost run fitness and not knee pain, I decided to approach race day with caution. If my knee was bothering me and I needed to walk, I would. If I needed to limit myself to 3 to 5 minute running intervals as I had done in training, I would. My goal, though, was to run as much of it as I could at a conservative pace.

As I exited transition and made my way onto the run course, I hoped to see Jenna, Bill, and Eric. Due to the hectic start, I didn’t get to see them before the race, and if they had seen me after the swim or near transition before or after the bike, I had missed them. A few minutes in, I saw them standing along the path. It was strange to put them all in the context of a race, but neat and motivating. I certainly didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of them. I gave them a wave and a smile as I passed, and hoped I would still be smiling if they saw me at the end.
The first mile was challenging, but I maintained a 10:15 pace – better than I had expected. I took some water and Gatorade at the first aid station and resumed the run. As I was approaching the turnaround near Soldier Field, the path turned uphill. It was there that the lost fitness caught up to me. I slowed to a walk for a short bit. After about 30 seconds I started running again. My pace was slowing, but I finally made it to the turnaround. On the way back, I put together a couple of 3 minute run stretches with short walks in between. I was very glad at this point that I had changed my registration to the Sprint from the Olympic when I saw that I would only have six weeks to rehab and rebuild between the surgery and the event. Trying to do an Olympic so soon would have been too much and could have resulted in an ugly day in front of my friends. After alternating a couple more short runs and walks, I could hear the announcer and knew the finish was close. I entered the finish chute and knew the finish line would be right around a corner. I turned the corner and immediately spotted Eric, Bill, and Jenna. I smiled and waved again. There was another runner who I was closing in on, and caught up in the moment, I thought I might pick up the pace and pass him on the approach to the finish. I closed and then passed him. It was fleeting – he picked up his pace and just dusted me as we went toward the finish line. It was kind of silly and ill-advised that I thought I could muster any kind of a finishing kick under the circumstances. After crossing the line, turning in my chip, and picking up a towel and a medal, I found him and congratulated him on a nice finish. Despite my ego-driven antics in the chute, I was satisfied with a decent race
What would you do differently?:

Lost fitness and gained weight since the surgery
Post race
Warm down:

I had a bagel and talked to Bill, Jenna, and Eric for a little bit. After cleaning up at the hotel, I walked back to transition and walked back to the hotel. I had planned to ride back, but I discovered the flat tire when I got there

Event comments:

Overall, I am satisfied with the race. While I am not in the shape I was in a year ago, my performance was similar to the one I had at Malibu last September. I have some work to do before the season finale in South Carolina, but I think this ‘walk through’ demonstrated that I am on my way back.
In all, it was a well run event. However, due to the size and the site location, it was challenging. Things were spread out and very crowded, from the expo, to transition, and event start and end points. Nice to do once, but I don’t think I would return. For being a single transition race (as opposed to point to point), it wasn’t as spectator friendly as I would have expected.

Last updated: 2013-08-28 12:00 AM
00:18:55 | 750 meters | 02m 31s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/169
Overall: 1245/2265
Performance: Below average
Course: Point to point in a narrow space between the sea wall and a row of boats
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:42
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:38:42 | 13.7 miles | 21.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/169
Overall: 147/2265
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back along lakeshore drive. Fairly flat with some rolling hills over overpasses.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:49
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:33:50 | 03.1 miles | 10m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/169
Overall: 1696/2265
Performance: Average
Course: Out and back along Lakeshore path north to Soldier Field and back.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 2

2013-08-28 7:02 PM

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Surprise, Arizona
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Subject: Life Time Tri Chicago - Sprint Distance
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Life Time Tri Chicago - Sprint Distance

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2012-08-26 7:58 PM cloudlover
date : November 21, 2011
author : etra77
comments : 0
Aunt and Nephew do their first Sprint Triathlon together
date : July 28, 2009
author : Coach AJ
comments : 1
I'm doing the 22 week sprint tri program and the 2 mile bike ride it starts with is not very challenging. I see this as a opportunity to train the right way and challenge myself. Any ideas?
date : October 7, 2008
author : gczarski
comments : 0
This past spring I realized a few of us were heading in the wrong direction physically. We were getting together for poker games and kids’ birthdays, but that was it.
date : September 8, 2008
author : pjwalzphd
comments : 2
When I told my husband that I planned to work toward completing a sprint triathlon, he smiled and was supportive, but a bit disbelieving.
date : April 1, 2008
author : trvw
comments : 0
The challenge? The accomplishment? I want to do this because it is an opportunity to live life. The event is an indoor sprint triathlon. I get to experience the challenge on a safer scale.
date : February 25, 2008
author : Amy Kuitse
comments : 0
Discussions on runners knee in women, training by distance or time, overdistance training, bricks and strides.
date : September 3, 2006
author : acbadger
comments : 0
Since your “A” race is your marathon, which you stated in your question, this should be your main focus. I encourage you to taper a bit for the sprint distance triathlon.
date : January 30, 2006
author : acbadger
comments : 0
Should I have time goals for the first sprint? Should I just finish the race at a reasonable pace? I'm not sure how to approach this.