Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ITU Open Sprint Race

Last minute and last season tri hurrah for me at ITU Open race.  Back was still not at 100% and totally out of shape but after CP sprint was cancelled, I needed one last tri. 
The Pro Women about the get their medals.. Go USA!
 ITU Chicago hosted the World Championship where the best of the best in the pro field and AG races raced in the season finale.  It is a huge fanfare for Standard Distance (Oly) triathletes.   ITU took advantage of the set up and in between waiting times to add an Open division for Standard and Sprint distance.  Since i have never done an ITU race (and will never qualify), jumped on the chance.  

Due to lots of wind, rain and lack of timing chips, they kept moving the time for packet pickup.  I was planning on going down one work night but due to storms they cancelled, they then provided a same day packet pick up option.. SCORE!  Wake up 45 minutes earlier vs taking a 3.5-4 hour trip mid-week.  Will take this all day, any day!   So, their fumble actually was a win for me.

Left me house around 450, presecured a parking spot and biked over to pick up.  They had cotton unisex tees and they were out of my size.. meh!  Got to transition and set up.  It was a total random group of people.  We had the complete newbie taking up 3 spots on the rack to the person that might have just missed qualifying.  Got on my wetsuit and made our way to the swim start.  Transition closed at 6:30 and my wave wasn't till 8 so i had some time to hang out and chill. Meet up with some Challenge Tri teammies and watching the Standard open go off and then it was my turn.  Water was cold but manageable. The fact I hadn't swam in too long showed as I didn't enjoy myself the entire time I was in the water.  Although it appeared smooth, got a little choppy towards the end.  Finished to then run 800 meters back to T1.  Gah!  That took forever.  Would have loved to watch the fast people do it.  The slow boats with me slowly stripped our suits while we walked up to the start.  Luckily, the path was pretty clean which made me happy. 

Bike was 80% in lower and lower lower wacker.  Even the bums cheered for us and it was a cool experience.  I had my roadbike and not my tri bike which was kindof a bummer.   The night before when i went to load my bike, i realized that my rear wheel was bent.  Bent so much that when you spun it, it stuck to the break even after I loosened it... ummmm... how long was it like that?  i crashed at Knox and wonder now if I have had it like that the entire summer.  One would think I would be good and check everything often but this season it didn't happen.

Anyways, dealt with my caged road bike and had fun on the run.  Saw tons of people on the course as there was a combo of sprints, standards and then some para triathletes.  Knew some people from each group and thanks to the looped course, there was always people around which i enjoyed. You took 2 loops around the fountain and then to the finish.  Was a perfect morning weather wise and enjoyed racing in the city!  A great day!

Side note: Medals for sprint had standard distances on there which was a bummer.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oak Brook Half Marathon Race Report

Running only 8 miles the ENTIRE month prior to the race is not the best way to train.  About 3.5 weeks ago, i tweaked my back.  It wasn't horrible but due I wasn't able to take any medications (even NSAIDS) due to some other health issues.  This made the healing process take a lot longer than before and I tested it last weekend with the super sprint but definitely was happy to walk the run part as the back felt tight. But this past week I have been feeling better and on a whim I signed up for the Oak Brook Half. Looking back, kindof dumb but completed the distance and on the road to a fun fall of running with the tri season almost over.

For a more detailed report on logistics, see my 2013 report

I have done this race before and chose last minute registration b/c the race is convenient and easy. There is a same day packet pickup, easy free parking and it is a nice course that is a mix of roads, trail and some shade.   Nothing quite beats a race that is straight forward, not complex, safe and well executed.  This race has been going one for many years with a seasoned race director who has it down.

Happy to finish, see some friends and get in the miles... albeit slow ones

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Josh's Chicago Kids Tri Report

Josh had his second triathlon on a rainy cold day yesterday.  Water was high 50's-low 60's and the way they set up transition, he had to wait 3.5 hours from transition closing to start (bad planning and won't come back if the set up is the same next year)

Got him a mylar sheet to stay warm. Even with all the waiting, josh got excited right before the gun.
Josh aligned himself in the back up the pack of the water but managed to emerge out of the water in the front pack (maybe 7th). The kids basically ran through the water... which i would to with that cold of water and it being only waist deep.  He went from front of back to back of pack when he took 6+ minutes in transition.  He refused to put on his shoe the right way and it kept getting stuck... UGH, it was painful to watch.  He also struggled to find his bike... so it was a long time.  Once he got onto his bike, he did well and looked good in the bit we could see.  He later said he enjoyed the bike and being on my hybrid.  Ran into T2 and then onto the run.  The run was a 1K and he kept a good pace. Came running to the finish looking strong!

He seemed to have a blast and happy he enjoyed the sport I love so much!

Chicago SuperSprint Race Report

Leading up to the race, I had a crappy back for 2 weeks.  Nothing earth shattering but didn't have full range of motion, some twinges when i bent over and not able to sit super well.  I wasn't even sure if i would be able to do the race 2 days before the event but I was getting better and better and thought it was worth a go.  My chiro said as long as i sat up straight and took the run easy, i should be ok.

Did packet pickup morning of.  It was raining and we got a bit of a late start so it was hectic race morning.  Scot dropped us off and josh and I made our way to pickup tents.  We got our packets with about 10 minutes for me to set up transition. Annoyed they ran out of shirts and had to settle for a mens tee. Set up quickly and then helped josh set up.  Went over to the start and saw two employees that were participating in their first ever tris.  They were not excited about the cold water but a little late to bail! haha

Wowsers, it was cold!  I could not get in a groove for the life of me.  But it was only 375 Meters so it was over pretty quick.  The water (although cold) was super clear which was nice.  Ran up to transition and gingerly put on my socks (no back twinges) and onto the bike.  Three laps around on the bike.  No big deal.  Then the run.  Got started and was feeling a tight back and wasn't sure how it was going to go.  I have 2 more triathlons this year so i didn't want to abuse myself.  Right as I was thinking about this.. there was a lady running on the  side of the course and someone was telling her to stay on the correct side.  She was struggling b/c she didn't want to run in the puddles and I made the quick decision I would stick with her.  Soooo happy I made the decision, it made my race.  We chatted, held hands, ran, sprinted, walked, jogged, asked the aid station why they didn't have pop and had a blast.  Really made for a great race!  Love this sport.

Hawk Harrier 5K

Signed up for this race night before as I found myself with a free morning. I didn't really read the description and when i showed up, realized it was a partly a cross country run.   Hawk Harrier 5K benefited the cross country team.  Course was pretty straight forward with about 60% on grass and the rest of sidewalks ending on the track.   Due to some medication changes, I started the race and my HR shot up super high.  So high that i thought I might has a vasovagal response, slowed down and got my composure and picked up the pace again.  My first mile was 9:45 which was too fast for me considering the humidity and my HR.. so i slowed it down and kept plugging along.  Not much to report.  Walked/run the 2rd and 3rd mile.  It really wasn't a race (even by my slow standards) and more of a decent workout.  The race only had 50 or so participants so excited to see this grass roots race grow in the future.

Challenge Cedar Point... Something for everyone

Rev3/Challenge Cedar Point has been a favorite of mine since 2011.. long before I made the Rev3 team in 2014. It is a race where there is literally something for everyone.
We are Triathlon!

Pick a Race... any race!! (or 2?)  There literally is a race distance for everyone -  From the 1 mile fun run to a full distance triathlon 140.6... the entire family can get involved.. and still can have fun even if they don't want to race!
    • Saturday - Kids Tri (7-14) - Two different distances depending on age
    • Saturday - Sprint Tri (800 M Swim, 12 mile bike, 5K run) Can be done as an individual or relay.. your pick!
    • Sunday - Half Distance Tri (1.2M Swim, 56 M bike, 13.1M Run) - Can be done as individual or relay
    • Sunday - Full Distance Tri (2.4M Swim, 112 M bike, 26.2M Run) - Can be done as individual or relay
    • Sunday - Full or Half Distance Aquabike -  Love to swim and bike but hate to run... or injured?   No Prob.  Do the Swim.Bike.Done option!  
    • Sunday Night- Rev3 Glow Run. Sunday, 8 pm 1 or 3 mile fun runs-
      Non timed fun run where you can get your glow on!
      Straight from the website: "At the pre-run dance party we will be handing out awards for whoever catches our eye. Make sure you are the brightest, have most creative use of glow sticks, or best costume, and you may get a prize flying your way." I have done a few glow runs with my family and had a blast! Great way to shake out the legs after driving and get the whole family involved. With them changing the time to Sunday night, families waiting for the full distance athletes have something to do after the park closes AND athletes already done can either run/jog/walk with their families OR cheer on their supporters as they take on their own run!
We have met up with my parents every year and have loved it each time.  My parents have enjoyed being spectators and also the Challenge Park. Staying right on site (at Hotel Breakers) also made it super easy for everyone to enjoy the weekend as they wish.  Read my Cedar Point Pointers as I outline a lot in that older post.  The only major thing to change from this is that Hotel Breakers has been completely renovated.  No more "gives off a Shining Vibe" section of the hotel (I.e. Bon Air section)...   which was where we stayed every time.   The hotel had a complete makeover so excited to see it at it's best.

See you all in 2 weeks.  Still time to sign up!  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Butlerville Days 5K race report

Anytime I am going on vacation, I have a tendency to look for races to see if i can squeeze a race into the mix.  When we went to Utah, we jammed a lot into the weekend but knew on Pioneer Day, there was a chance I could run.  There was a big half downtown but it was a lot of hooplah, shuttle buses, getting up super early and would suck up a large part of day.  For those reason, I vetoed that option and looked for others.  Found a 5K on the foot of the mountain which happened to be right near my friends house.. Butlerville Days 5K .. SOLD! 

Very safe neighborhood run and since a Utah holiday, not very many cars were out and lots of volunteers patrolling the course. There were lots of XC kids, families and some strollers.  The course could accommodate everyone nicely.  Lani and the Smiths joined me for the run and it was great to run with friends and family.  Course was a nice loop through residential streets that was mostly uphill on the front half and then downhill on the back half. This was great for me as I definitely had to adjust to the altitude.  We were 4,800 feet with only 200 feet elevation gain but that initial 4,800 feet compared to sea level was a tough adjustment.

My mile splits and thoughts were:
11:25 - Sucking through a straw and trying to find my breath.  Running in high altitude when you are used to sea level is an adjustment.. luckily only 2 more miles. 
10:58 -  There was a little aid station you hit right after a mile and I SWEAR my "gatorade"  was "kool aid".   I started finding my stride and didn't want to walk every other step. 
10:15 - This mile I felt great, acclimated to the altitude (enough) to be enjoying the process and trying to catch up to people. It really really helped it was mostly downhill!

Crossed finish to see Dave waiting for us girls to finish.  Grabbed some bottle water and then made our way back to the start (maybe .25 mile walk).   Dave thought he might podium so we waited around and when they posted the results, i realized I podiumed!  WHAT?!  Hell is freezing over... or the zombies are coming any minute.  Granted, there were only 5 people (which i thought originally was 6) in my age group but I was still excited.  Got my white ribbon and hopped up onto the podium!
As always, rocked some headsweats love wearing my Challenge Family visor!  Fun morning with friends and a little easier than my last Utah run!  Smiths mentioned the turkey trot is huge in this neighborhood and this race definitely has the potential of being much bigger while maintaining its safety and appeal!