Morning of, i convinced/weasled Scott to drop me off. I was concerned about parking but ended up being really easy. Gilson park was completely empty so those driving themselves had no issue getting there. (I should have remembered this from 2 years ago but i think Scott drove me that time too). Anyways, got my bike racked and ready and made my way over to the swim start. I went to rack my bike and the girl next to me said there wasn't enough room. I could tell she was new to the sport and created some small talk as it was clear she was nervous. I told her i wouldn't take up much space and set up my stuff. Within 10 minutes, 2 more people racked in the same space she was concerned about. Little interactions like these are a reminder that we all started like she did at one time. With 4 bags for a sprint and her 3 gels for the bike. It reminds me how far I have come in the sport and also makes me appreciate that we still race the same course.
The swim is a point to point and like it was 2 years ago... very cold water. I heard it was in the 50's and it sure felt like it. My face was pretty cold within a few hundred yards and I had an ear ache on my breathing side for a good week after the race. I was convinced I could feel the small drop of cold water that was in there all week. I made my way through the water, albeit slow, and existed with little feeling in my hands and feet.
Bike is a two loop course and felt good on it. There is some weaving and b/c of so many newbies. Kept a 16.63 MPH pace and felt good entering T2.
Run was a 1-loop course. Nice residential streets completely closed and some great views of the Wilmette neighborhoods and Bahai Temple. One aid station you pass twice. Got to see a few friends along the course and also found myself next to a dude with white see-through shorts for about a mile. It was the most memorizing.. "don't look, but i can't stop staring" mile I have ever run. He kept me pushing and crossed the finish line ~3.5 minutes faster than i did 2 years ago.
Scott picked me up and then had church a few hours later. With the half marathon Saturday and this race on a Sunday, after church, I snuggled up with Lucy and took a huge nap. Great way to end the tri season and no regrets with my decision to keep this season with short distances. I needed a mental break and because of the shift, was able to throw a few weekends to Scott for long runs. Next year, will go longer.. till then.. off season.
1:37:42 - 2016
1:41:07 - 2014