.....that was me on Sunday in Chicago!
or maybe I should title this...'where did that go' as a sequel to my last post! HA!HA!
The crazy thing is that I was feeling good about things going into this race and crazy enough this was supposed to be my big race of the year, and the 70.3's the side races which I was really unprepared for! I had some great workouts on the bike, running, and even in the pool going into Chicago.
Doing the Chicago triathlon is always an adventure. Many people swear it off, others do it every year. I find it hard to pass up a big competitive local race. With the elite wave you can bypass SOME of the congestion and race against some REALLy fast people. That is exactly why I like to put up with the huge expo, the very early morning start (my alarm went off at 3:30!), the massive transition area, biking over the bumps and cracks on Lakeshore Dr., the ordeal it is to get your bike out of transition after the race, the huge hotels and crowds everywhere. But I like the competition and going fast, especially when it all comes together.
So when Sunday finally came, I was ready to race. It had felt like a long time since I raced last. I woke up before my alarm and didn't have the Ugh feeling like...yikes what am I doing!!! I was fired up to race. It was not going to be cold like last year, ick,...I hadn't raced in a while so bring it! I wanted to race, no holding bike for 70.3 efforts, hard!
The I lined up for the swim and my wave was the elite women and a lot of men......not sure what age or who they were but it was a big wave. They were actually quite nice to talk to at the transition area. My instructions were to be aggressive and go out hard and then find your pace. The start was so crazy and fast I was pummeled. Worse than Iroman. The narrow section of water and short distance to the first bouy with elite people and big men trying to go fast made for a CRAZY start. I inhaled so much water and hyperventilated so much I wanted to either die or swim to the wall and get out. Now my swimming is not where it used to be, nor where it should be, but even unless I were Michael Phelps I think it would still have been just as crazy. But...I knew if I just made the turn at the bouy I'd get some open water find some feet and be fine. Which is exactly what happened, I think I got swum over by some big men, but did find some feet after the turn. However it felt like I was swimming upriver the entire way to swim finish.
Biking on Lakeshore Dr. is its own beast. Its flat (really not my strength, but who cares), its fast, sometimes you can see your competition coming at you or behind you at the turns. But the road is awful. You really have to be careful of those seams and bumps and the sprint wave out there. I felt good on the bike and rode hard. The second loop was definitely more congested but I felt strong and tried to push it hard. This was the best part of the day. I have biked faster there, but knowing how I used to train and what I do now, I was happy with the effort.
The run felt good for about .5 miles. I felt good on the grassy section until you hit the pavement near the museum, and then it was sooo ugly. Sorry to those who came up behind me. After being bent over puking 2x, I wanted to quit, again. I at 1 point even started walking backwards on the course because I felt so bad after throwing up that I just wanted to quit and be done. That is so lame though unless you are dying or a pro making a living off of your results. So I turned my sorry AS@ around and shuffled to the next aid station drank a bunch of water and mosied on. I started to feel a little better at mile 4 and then cruised it in. I simply could not go fast. Seriously......isn't this what people experience in Ironman! Near the finish I saw Adam. Waiting. He probably thought I died on the course because I was soooo slow. I ran over to him 200 ft. from the finish and bent over so embarrassed with tears, and frustrated. I do not know what happened, I felt great going into the race, yes it was HOT, but its been hot all summer. Yes I inhaled a ton of lake Michigan, but I've done that before too. Who knows, its wasted energy trying to figure it out.
In every race, key workout, or test set you do there is something to be learned. Good or Bad. My Dad,( an awesome coach ), told this to me before the race. What did I learn from this ugly performance?? Hmm still trying to put my finger exactly on it this time, but maybe that I'm not a quitter, or I like to step up to the challenge and compete, or I should not do Chicago Tri anymore, or get to the pool more often, or time move on to cylclocross. Its 1 lesson learned the hard way.