Post Triathlon Recap Part 3 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!
Whoa, am I cruising. I think this is the fastest, I’ve ever ridden my bike. The swim was rougher than I thought, but this bike ride is fun. Yet, How come I’m not passing anybody? Whoa, there goes a cool bike and another and another.
The bike part of the Chicago Triathlon was super fun. Normally in my training, I’m average between 15mph and 16mph. Granted, I usually train over curvey somewhat hilly Forest Preserve Trails. I can’t go much faster with my bike or my tires will slip out, and I’ll fall and crack my helmet. Still, I did some road rides, and I only averaged 16mph. During the Chicago Triathlon, I averaged 17.5 mph. I was cruising. Yet, I was passed more than I passed.
It was a little demoralizing to know that I am going as fast as I have ever gone, and yet I’m getting passed more often than not. I really thought I’d be faster on the bike. Yet, I didn’t let that get me down. How often do you get to Ride on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago? Twice a year: once during the Chicago Triathlon, and once during bike the drive. (Am I missing another time?)
The lakefront in the northern part of the city is awe inspiring. Its super fun.
Some unexpected thoughts: Wow, those cars are loud. I knew to expect cars, but I was surprised at how loud it was. I guess that’s what I get for having 70% of my training in forests rather than roads.
Man, there were quite a few bicyclists with break downs, tire flats, etc. I guess it happens, and I’m glad it didn’t happen to me, as I have all the tools to change a flat, but I have never done it on a bicycle.
Whoa, Lake Shore Drive has lots of potholes and dangerous spots for bicyclists. There were quite a few times where if you had changed lanes, your tire would have gotten stuck. Of course, since the bike stops, the rider would have gotten through off the bike right into fast moving cars. It was much more dangerous than I expected, and I had to stay more alert.
The Lakeshore Drive in Chicago is hillier than expected. This wasn’t as big a surprise, because I had read that on a few different blogs. Also, because my training rides include quick changes in elevation regularly, the hills were not that bad. Seriously, Illinois is some flat lands.
Things I learned:
I need to look into training with some more bike gear: Cycling Shoes, Aero Bars, Clown Hats (oops that’s for my circus blog.) to get my speed up to the 20 to 22 mph range.
It may behoove a newbie to participate in the Bike the Drive event http://bikethedrive.org/ just to get some experience on the Lake Shore Drive.
Eating on the bike is not the easiest thing to do, but I recommend it. Its much easier to eat a snack on the bike than it is swimming and running.
I recommend staying hydrated during the bike. You probably won’t carry a water bottle running. On the bike, it’s a little easier. Just make sure your water bottle cages are tight as there were quite a few random water bottles that flew off due to the crazy pot-holes.
Practice your T2 transition before the event. What are you going to do when you get off the bike? How do you plan on transitioning to the run? What gear do you need? Will you need to change any clothes?
Also, I think I need to do more interval bike training to help speed up my event.
Finally, I think I have to remember, not to use up all my energy on the bike. I was going faster than I ever rode, and I still had a 6 mile run to do. Sometimes, its best to conserve the energy.
During the bike, twice I got that super Runner’s High. It doesn’t happen to much for me when I exercise. Its that supreme feeling of peace and happiness. It was about 1/3 of the way through the bike route. I just realized that, I was going to finish a triathlon. It was really happening. I had done the swim, I was cruising along on the bike, and I knew that even if I had to walk the 6 mile run, I was going to do it. At that moment, I broke in a big smile, and I had to choke back tears. It was a super feeling knowing that my hard work was paying off.
Then, I realized, wait a minute, Don’t count my chickens before they are hatched. I still have another 15 miles or so to go of biking, and the entire run.
I then started cruising even faster. I felt so good on the bike, and I was setting myself up for a great run. My T2 was super slower than the average, but I decided to switch shirts. I felt I’d be a little cooler in a different shirt, and the weather was just starting to get hot. After the swim and the bike, I was on pace for a sub 3 hour time which was my unofficial goal. My bike was 1:26:30 and the bike rank was 2795/3905.
As a side note: Today is the first day of the Chicago Triathlon 2011 registration. I still haven’t fully committed to doing it yet. So, I haven’t registered.
Tune in next time to see how my Run went.
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