Leave it all on the course – 8/28/16

Chicago-Triathlon

With the Chicago Triathlon being the last triathlon of my season, as well as PT Mid-East Regionals, I had a lot I wanted to accomplish. One set of goals was related to the time ahead; the other set was to a final show of the 2016 effort. I’ll have more to say on both of these in the future. For now, I want to just focus on the event.

After arriving and getting transition set up, we all made the long walk to the starting area. I am glad that Luke convinced me to keep my shoes on instead of going barefoot, and I now see why they give you a swim check bag. Trying to do about 1/2 mile in bare feet would be a VERY bad decision. We did a team photo and then got into line for the start.

Lake Michigan was very calm and with a 70 degree water temperature, I went without my wet suit. We were the second Sprint group into the water, and it went very well. I’m still slower in Lake Michigan than I am anywhere else; not sure why. After about 28 minutes in the water, I had a little bit of trouble getting up the stairs (swim exit). But Luke and others at the exit helped steady me and we made it towards transition.

As I mentioned earlier, swim out to transition was a LONG way away. We made it back and headed out on the bike after about 12 minutes (swim out to bike out). With the exception of the second turnaround, the bike went great. On that turn, we ended up hitting the curb and having to do a quick dismount to avoid falling.

Up to this point, things had gone extremely well. Perhaps not as fast as I had wanted, but a good swim followed by a good bike. Then things unraveled a bit.

Whether the sun had been behind clouds or the breeze had masked it, it got extremely humid on the run. To the point where I was struggling to run for even a full minute. I had some tighthness a couple of times, but managed to stretch it out. So after crossing the finish line, I was surprised when I could barely stand. Long story short is that I was dehydrated and didn’t realize it. Enough fluids fixed that pretty quickly.

If you would like to see photos and full result information, please click here

While it didn’t go exactly as planned, there were still a lot of good things that came out of the day. As well as some benchmarks to push forward from for 2017. I also learned a very valuable lesson about hydration, which I will have a chance to put to use during the remainder of my 2016 events.

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