Yesterday Erica did the SuperSprint distance of the Chicago Triathlon (I'm so proud of her) and this morning I had my turn as I ran the International distance for the third year in a row.
The first year, I trained pretty hard just to be able to survive the thing. Last year I had a goal of doing it pain-free, so I trained pretty hard again and ended up shaving off over half an hour over my total time. This year I got busy and cocky and I was hideously under-trained. As well, the day was a little rough. The wind picked up today and so the water was pretty choppy and there was a strong head for both north-bound laps of the bike (and then somehow that wind disappeared when I started running, leaving it rather hot). And there were just little things like missing my wave start, some goggle trouble I had on the swim, my bike computer going missing during the race (and oddly turning up back on my bike after the race), and, comically, someone else's helmet sticker getting stuck on my front bike tire for 5 miles or so. Fwip fwip fwip fwip.
So after all of that, I was really surprised to check my watch during the run and realize that I was doing OK on time. I ended up finishing with an official time of 3:52:58. This may or may not be a new PR. As I mentioned, I started a wave late (pretty embarrassing since we'd been down there at 5:00 am). Technically, by Chicago Triathlon rules, I was disqualified since I started with the wrong wave. I'm glad they kept my times anyway. But the question is whether that official time is from my assigned starting time or my actual one. If assigned, then I actually completed the race in 3:48:58 and it's a new personal best. If this time is accurate, then it's only 28 seconds slower than last year, and given how little I've trained this year, that's still impressive to me.
I have to credit some of my fast pace to Shaun, who caught up to me at the transition into the run and ran the first four miles with me. He really kept me going when my body kept suggesting that really, we were pretty tired and it might just be nice to walk, or even to curl up in a ball in the shade. And Erica was, as always, my biggest cheerleader and seeing her sweet face when I finished the swim and when I started the run really gives me a lift.
Clock Time 03:52:58
Overall Place 2955 / 3321
Gender Place 2148 / 2327
Division Place 345 / 364
There's plenty of room for improvement in all 5 stages here (I notice that the mayor blows away my transition times, for example) and now that the whole Gerdes family are triathletes, we can train up together and see if we can keep getting that time down.
Erica took a bunch of photos, of me and of other friends she ran into.