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ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago Open Age-Group Sprint Race - TriathlonSprint

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
ITU World Triathlon Series
68F / 20C
Total Time = 1h 42m 26s
Overall Rank = 672/856
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 37/56
Pre-race routine:

Breakfast shake: oatmeal, avocado, banana, nuts, milk, beet juice, honey.
Egg, banana, dark chocolate on my way to the race and a bit before the race.
Water with pedilyte.
Event warmup:

I was wearing regular swimsuite and it was extremely windy in the morning. The event was delayed by 30 minutes, therefore, I was warming up 3 times just to stay warm.
Jumping jacks series, push-ups, knee-highs - that kind of things.
  • 24m 20s
  • 750 meters
  • 03m 14s / 100 meters

I was extremely fast in the first half of the swim. Then, some aggressive swimmers from the next waves made the water so chaotic I got an anxiety attack. I had water coming through my mouth and nose and it was very hard to maintain the balance. I was doing everything to control my mind, but once I saw how far the exit was my brain entered some evacuation mode. I was unable to put my head into the water because of that and I finished the second half with "don't get your head wet" stroke. I had to rest twice hoping I would relax and feel better. I was also concerned about my arms, that they now did not have the "resting phase" that breaststroke normally gives. I also cut my calve pretty badly with a chain that was attached to the wall. But I did not notice it until the end of the race.
the ending was absolutely awful. When we all get closer there was a boat with guys directing us to the buoy, where we were supposed to make a turn. That messed everything up, because now we had a bunch of people trying to make that turn, and then another bunch of folks being on the way to that buoy. I had a feeling that everyone around me had the same anxiety attack and we were all in panic mode just shaking our arms in hopes we would fly out of the water. I had so many bodies over mine I was about to loose it. I was doing everything to make sure my head was above the water and that I was actually getting more air than water. Whenever I looked at the buoy I felt I was making one step forward and two steps back. It was so unreachable. I wanted to cry, but it was impossible to cry in the goggles. I felt so bad that I was almost there, yet - so far I could not make it (and I was really two meters away...) When I got closer to the exit stairs I just moved my hand to the volunteer hoping he would pull me out. I probably should have shouted HELP ME, because he just waved to me and smiled, and said: "yeeey, good job!"
I was very upset, because I absolutely love swimming breaststroke, and I could not understand why it was happening to me... It was so bad I thought I would have resigned if I had not paid and told everyone...
Overall I still think I must have done really awesome during the first part - because I had exactly the same time as i had with my previous race, which I considered almost perfect.
What would you do differently?:

Well, "triathlon" is 90% mental" - and now I fully understand it. Not only the anxiety almost won with me during the swim part - I was hold to the "failure feeling" for half of the whole race. When I exited swim I thought I lost my record and screw it. I should not carry hard feelings to the following race legs. Just move on.
What would I do different with the swim part itself? I don't think with my low experience there was anything I could have done. It was in my head. I need more practice in stressful environment.
I also believe that lack of sleep did not help. I woke up in the middle of the night (thunderstorms) and could not fall asleep for two hours. So I basically slept only two hours before the race. And i was about to have a period, so I guess It could have been a combination of things.
Transition 1
  • 08m 3s

This transition was 800 meters from swim exit.
When I got out the water I was so depressed I decided not to care anymore. Thankfully, this thought hold only for few seconds and I realized I have to more parts to complete this triathlon and I better run this damn 800 meters. So I run it without a stop. I was not racing, but it was definitely a run.
I put shorts on my swimsuit, no problems with socks and shoes. On my way out I was stopped by the other girls from my wave and she was telling me she quit swimming. I was about to get sentimental and continue the conversation, until I realized the clock was ticking...
What would you do differently?:

Once I exited the swim - I should have left negative thoughts in the swim. And just move on. And run right away. I did not need to talk to that girl. I mean - I'm sorry she quit, but I should have just said sorry, and run.
Other than that - it was fine. It was double the distance from Chicago tri and I made it in a similar time, so I'm happy about myself :)
  • 41m 29s
  • 20 kms
  • 28.93 km/hr

It was just a great experience. In the middle of biking I realized I have to forget swimming experience and focus on what was happening at that moment. And I started enjoying it and making sure I do as best as I can on the bike.

What would you do differently?:

I need to practice curves and corners. I am not experienced with those.
Speed similar to previous race.
Transition 2
  • 01m 44s

Nothing spectacular. I grabbed my shirt and belt (with cell phone) and I put those on while running.
There was about 200 meters from T2 to the actual run. Which I realized after I actually run through it.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. It was fine.
  • 26m 51s
  • 5 kms
  • 05m 22s  min/km

This was my very best time for 5K and the very first time I did below 9 minutes/mile!
It is time for new running shoes - and I felt it during the run. I felt pretty confident the whole time.
What would you do differently?:

Go even faster! haha ;)
I don't know - I think I did my best :)
Post race
Warm down:

Just hanging out with other runners for a moment. Once again, I forgot about stretching after the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My brain?
My body was fully capable of doing better/faster. After the mental breakdown in water it took me a while to have my mind back to the game.

Event comments:

I was pissed there was no beer ticket. This race cost a lot of money, and it was also part of THE championships. They had huge sponsors, including Revolution brewery. I could not believe we only got water, gatorade and half-banana. Of course, I don't swim/bike/run only for a free beer, but it is always a nice reward after all the effort, right?

Last updated: 2015-09-10 12:00 AM
00:24:20 | 750 meters | 03m 14s / 100meters
Age Group: 273/56
Overall: 0/856
Performance: Average
Suit: Swimsuite
Course: Through Monroe Harbor, South toward the museum. Waves were average.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Bad Navigation: Good
Rounding: Below average
Time: 08:03
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:41:29 | 20 kms | 28.93 km/hr
Age Group: 217/56
Overall: 0/856
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Nice course, a bit in the City, then Batman path in Lower Wacker. It was fun experience. The lines were not too wide, so it was pretty crowded, and sometimes difficult to pass. Plenty of curves made it difficult for someone not as experienced. I think those slowed me down. Couple of difficult hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Time: 01:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:26:51 | 05 kms | 05m 22s  min/km
Age Group: 158/56
Overall: 0/856
Performance: Good
Course: 1.5 lap included going by the Buckingham Fountain twice. Both times when I entered fountain area I remembered Gwen being at that point when I was watching her the day before. So I imagined I was Gwen and I got some extra speed ;) Again, mental thing...
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2015-09-21 2:41 PM

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago Open Age-Group Sprint Race
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