Puerto Rican Jazz at the Chicago Summer Dance Festival

Saturday – Expo Day, Part 1 of 7 2010 Triathlon Recap:

Post Triathlon Recap Part 1 of 7.  I started writing up a recap of my event, and it kept growing and growing and growing.  I decided to break it up.  The purpose of the recap is give new people the thoughts and ideas they can use to help them prepare for their own future first endurance event!

Part 1) Saturday – Expo Day.

On Saturday, I drove downtown Chicago to the Triathlon Expo. If I told you I was not anxious or nervous for Sunday, I would have a pinnochio sized nose. I was short-tempered with everyone. Getting the car unloaded and into my hotel room was a pain in the neck with all the gear. We decided to park our car at a near-by lot to save a few $$ over the hotel lot. I don’t think I’ll do that again. Although, the theory behind that is, we’d have easy in and out privileges without the hassle of valet. Really, it was more a pain dragging bags across the city than the saving in dollars. So, I think I’ll valet next year.

Chicago Multisport Expo

Going to the Expo was cool. There were tons of vendors. Yet, I was so focused on getting my race packet, my body-marked, my free goodie bag, swim-cap, and attending a course-talk. I didn’t really let myself enjoy the Expo as much as I could have. I didn’t feel like mingling and hearing people’s spiels and product pitches. I had the dog-grip Triathlon focus. What did I need to do to finish comfortably, safe, and above average. That was the soul thing on my mind! I will say I’m glad I went a little early, because many of the vendors did sell out of the cool merchandise like race-chip holders and race-bands. There were tons of free samples and food. Next year, I’d love to get there a little earlier to hear an early version of the course-talk. Then that can give me some more time to relax and enjoy the expo. Once I heard the course-talk, I was much more at ease.  I had better expectations for the race.

Saturday evening was fun. My wife and my two kids walked around Chicago and met my brother and his family for dinner at Maggiano’s. It wasn’t quite the rest/recovery day I was expecting. I was so tired after chasing a 2 year old girl and 5 year old boy around downtown. Dinner was good as expected. I’d do that again. Getting pasta the night before was an excellent idea. I was little worried I ate too much, but I don’t think that was the case.

Okay. Skip this section if you get grossed out.

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One thing that, and I talked to a few other triathletes, was unexpected was the nervousness in the gastro-intenstinal area. Let’s just say I needed to visit the restroom multiple times on Saturday, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning before the race. Just funny how race-day jitters come out fine in the end. (puns are terrible I know.)
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Puerto Rican Jazz at the Chicago Summer Dance Festival

After dinner, as Jen and I were walking back, the Triathlon Hotel is right across from the Chicago Summer Dance area which happens every Saturday during the Summer in Chicago.  Jen and I had been in the past, Its so fun to hear live music under the stars in the city.  It was super fun watching Miss M and Mstr C dance and run around. However, I was so exhausted from walking all day with the stress of my first Triathlon looming, I just wanted to go to bed. I did allow myself some time to take in the atmosphere and even dance a bit with the kids.

Saturday Night, I barely slept. It didn’t help that my kids were wired from being in a hotel and to them it felt like Vacation. I was hoping the dancing would burn off their little energy, but it was the exact opposite effect.  They were ready to party! As I wrote before, I was all business mentally wise. I just wanted to get ready and go to sleep. I was going through my Triathlon checklist over and over again. I put my wristbands on. I put the stickers on my helmet and my bike. I was making some last minute tweaks to Set-up bags. The drawback of having my kids able to see me swim was the lack of sleep. However, I would want them there again.  The value in having family support was well worth it. Can we get separate room?

If you couple the lack of sleep with natural first-timer nerves, you’d think I was a wreck, but I felt laser-focused, but I was very, very testy and short-tempered. My wife and my kids were very nice to put up with my crankiness. I’m very thankful for their support!  Without them, it would not have been as meaningful.

In Part 2, of my 2010 Triathlon Recap:  I’ll write about transitions. You’ll have to wait until Part 7 to see all the thoughts that were keeping me awake.  (It’ll take me longer to get my gear photos ready.)

Part 1:  Expo Day
Part 2:  Transition Set-up
Part 3:  The Swim
Part 4:  The Bike
Part 5:  The Run, if you must call it that.
Part 6:  Post Race.  Will I do a triathlon again?
Part 7:  Race Day Gear Thoughts

[Updated to Add Links for next Part of the series]