After Run for Boston yesterday, I hightailed in to Lake Zurich to rack my bike, get my race packet and affix my athlete's bracelet. The check in was painless and so was racking my bike. Alyssa gave me the heads up that I should put a grocery bag over my saddle to protect it from the rain that was predicted.
Nutrition wise, I ate cleaner this week (save for a burger Friday night at Rosebud) and cut back on my coffee/chocolate consumption big time. This morning's breakfast was bread with peanut butter and jelly, but no bananas. I was up at 4:45 and out the door by 5:10 to make the 45-minute drive to Lake Zurich. Parking was free and plentiful directly across the street from transition. I got marked up and set up my station near my bike after removing the plastic bag from my seat.
|At the start yesterday|
There wasn't any water in transition, so I had to walk down to the beach where there was a fountain. The water was 72.5 degrees and I waffled on if I wanted to wear my wetsuit. I ultimately decided to go for it because Alyssa pointed out that it would be good practice for upcoming races.
So into the wetsuit I went. We were in the same wave - last - and waited around until 7:15. I tried the water and waited anxiously because this was only my second triathlon and my first with open water. We watched some of the earlier swimmers take a wrong turn and head to the beach too early, so I made it my mission to sight well and not get disqualified. The swim actually went very well. I didn't get kicked, but I did have to jostle to get a spot in the water. I was out in 9:46 (it was a 1/3 mile swim).
My first transition was really long. It was a bit of a run up a hill, during which I put my goggles on my head and pulled my wetsuit down to my waist. Once I made it to my bike, the suit got stuck on my timing chip. I need to practice this.
I made the decision to skip my clipless shoes, which I'm glad I did. I set out for the bike and finished both of the Luna bars I chopped up in the first three miles and downed 3/4 of a water bottle.
I like the wave start because I spent the entire bike passing people. I made it a point to offer my encouragement to every lady I passed, too. It was great to have out names on the bib for this purpose.
The bike was lovely and almost uneventful. I saw a woman that I've seen at CrossFit Rise and mentioned we should get a photo together for the Web site. Except Alyssa and I later saw her get hit by a car at an intersection. It scared the living bejesus out of us. The driver and the cop manning the intersection were both not paying attention, but I found out later that the cyclist went on the complete the race. When I saw her after the finish line, she told me that she was sore and her bike was out of whack, but the motorist left the scene, so she wasn't sure what recourse she had.
On to happier things - my second transition was much faster since I already had my shoes on. I threw on my race belt with my number and a hat, then took my handheld and set off for the run. I did not wear any timing device, so I had no idea how fast I was going, but pushed it as much as I could. The bike had me feeling confident, and I kept pushing it on the run as a result. I finished the run in 23:47, only 10 seconds slower than my 5K PR.
When I crossed the finish line, I had no idea what my overall time and place was, but I felt good about my place. I chugged a bottle of water, took a cold sponge from a volunteer and stood in front of a misting fan before Alyssa and I signed up for massages and got breakfast. Iron Girl has an app, so Alyssa checked it out on her phone and found out that I placed second in our age group and she was fourth. We decided to stick around for the awards ceremony, which was a smart move. There was a tent with a giant pallet of Biscoff spread on it that say "Please take!" and take I did. Winning ...
For my second place win, I got a pendant from Milestone Jewelry that said "Every girl has an iron core." It's really cute and I look forward to wearing it.
In all, I really liked this race. It would have been a more expensive race, but all Ironman-branded races are pricey. However, you get what you pay for with these races. The finisher's medals are great, the toilets were clean, the expo was plentiful, the shirts rocked (Athleta branded) and the swag was impressive. My race packet was actually heavy with all the samples and brochures. I had an awesome race today that was completely devoid of GI issues, so it was a great day. I'm happy with my performance as well as the event. The breakfast and post-race party was a great touch. I'm not so into the girl power thing, but I appreciate that they celebrate the giant accomplishment that is finishing a triathlon. I also was impressed by the production value of this event.
Time: 1:22:26 for a sprint triathlon (9:46 for the swim, 2:55 for the first transition, 45:20 for the bike, 38 seconds for the second transition and 23:47 for the run).
Cost: $75 for early registration, $125 for on-site registration.
Pros: Easy parking, relatively flat course, great swag, nice shirt, awesome medal, jewelry for the winners, lots of volunteers
Cons: No place to fill up water at the start, you have to rack your bike the day before and hence have to travel to Lake Zurich twice