August 25, 2008

Chicago: They don't call it the WINDY city for nothing!

Chicago was fantastic! My visit was so wonderful thanks to Gloria and David of Magellen Development. I had the opportunity to stay on the 37th floor of the Regatta http://http// with some fellow triathletes, Jimmy Archer and Kristen Peterson. The view was incredible: from my bedroom I could see the beautiful water and harbor full of boats and the Navy Pier along with the huge ferris wheel. I arrived Friday evening and was still feeling the fatigue in my legs from last week's 70.3, so I headed out to explore the neighborhood and get the circulation going again after my flight. I walked thru Millennium Park and that's when I discoverd the WIND!!! On Saturday I met up with Mary Beth and we rode on the bike path. There were gazillions of people out on the trail, runners, walkers, cyclist, skateboarders, rollerbladers, you name it, we saw it! I also got in a short run and went to swim at the Ohio St. beach. Then it was time for the race meeting, pre-race dinner, and getting stuff together.

Sunday was race day and the pros were able to sleep in since we didn't start until 11:00! At the race meeting the day before they told us the water temp was 76...but to bring our wetsuits just in case. I was like, just in case what? there is no way the temp will drop below I entered the transition area, Joanna told me it was a wetsuit swim. 'Ha Ha, your joking, right?' 'Nope, they said it 71 this morning' 'Yah right!' Well, we ended up wearing wetsuits and the water was HOT!!!! I came out with the lead pack and on the 600mtr run to transition my legs did not want to go. They were screaming pretty loud to just stop the torture! I pushed on through, hoping I would feel okay on the bike. No such luck! We faced a tough headwind on the 10K out (2x20K bike loop) where I tried to keep the girls in sight. At the 20K mark, I was right with Liz and then she got about 1/2 mile on me and I stayed there the rest of the bike. I'm not sure why, but at about 25K I started throwing up...not so much fun on the bike! Kinda gross really! But what can ya do? So I pushed the end of the bike and slipped on my running shoes ready to see what my running legs had to say. Surprisingly, they felt good the first 2miles. The spectators and volunteers were awesome, providing much needed encouragement and cold water. The last 4 miles were pretty much a death march as I just tried to keep it together. I finished in 9th, which was pretty respectable considering the field and my condition. So I was happy with it and I finished in the money, always a nice bonus! I talked with Andy Potts after the race and he asked if i felt as 'great' as he did out there. We decided we'd done the races in the wrong order, Olympic distance following a 70.3...not the smartest thing, but lesson learned! And in addition to my awesome homestay I was able to have fun and hang out with some good triathlon friend, yeah!

I actually flew back last night after the race. It was quite the rush, rush whirlwind getting packed up and to the airport. I decided to take the train to the airport (2 bucks vs 30+ for a taxi)...which meant carrying and manuvoring my bike up 4 flights of stairs and through several gates and actually onto the train. I had my bike wedged against a seat and was trying to launch my oversized backpack over the top of it just as the train started to pull away. It was the exact timing to throw me completely off balance as my bag went flying one way and me the other. I was laughing at myself...but those around me didn't seem to find my humor in it and I'm sure they were wondering what the heck I had in my huge box! Luckily, no damage was done and I made it back to COS in one piece!

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