What’s worse than a bad race? Not finishing.

I like racing more than training. Really, the only thing that continues to motivate me TO train is knowing a race is coming up. So when the race doesn’t go well its a huge let down.

The prefect example was today’s Lake Zurich Triathlon.

From the time I got dressed in the morning I was rushing around like a maniac feeling somehow unprepared even though I packed up all my gear the night before.

When I say unprepared, I don’t mean I wasn’t race ready, I mean I felt unpacked, like I was missing something. Another issue was… Um… Bathroom related. I make it a point to go before I race, but this morning my body wasn’t on the same page.

But, being confident that I had it all together and the bathroom thing wasn’t happening, I loaded the car and took off.

It wasn’t until I stopped for my traditional (and controversial) race day breakfast of an Egg McMuffin that I realized I left my Profile Design aero water bottle sitting on my rear bumper.

Not cool.

Back tracking almost 2 miles, there was the bottle, empty and run over…. Super, looks like I’m only using 1 water bottle on what will be a hot humid ride.

Shake it off… I got this.

I was issued a low number for some reason. As I went to rack my bike I found myself hanging with the Elite group… Yikes! However I was greeted by Coach Jen Harrison who was setting up shop directly across from me!

Though I was slated to go off with all these fast folks, I switched my swim cap and went with my age group.

The race officials determined the water was 78*, making it wetsuit legal. It felt higher, like 80+.

The day before the race I was talking about going without the wetsuit, especially since I did a mile at Lake in the Hills on Wednesday and felt really hot.

I should have followed my instinct, but instead wore my wetsuit. The first stretch felt ok, but after the first turn I started getting warm. There was no turning back at that point, it was a suffer-fest. And all I could think was “I wonder how much cooler I would feel if I dropped some more weight.”

The run from water to transition was about 200 yards, I had my suit pulled 1/2 way down and trotted to my bike. As I peeled the rest of the suit off I felt gross. I was hot from the wetsuit, a little nauseous and felt like a brick was in my gut from not being able to use the bathroom. I just stood in T1 for a few minutes and then felt good enough to ride.

After about a 1/2 mile on the bike I felt 100%. Cruising down Rand Rd holding 19mph WHOOO! Everything about the bike felt great, but as the saying goes all good things must come to an end.

Riding through the Echo Lake subdivision of Lake Zurich I came up on a hard left turn and it wasn’t until it was too late that I realized I was going too fast. I tapped my rear brake over and over nearly skidding out each time, lost control slightly, went off the road and into some tall grass.

Luckily I remained upright the whole time, but it must have looked ugly because a course vehicle drove up fast to make sure I was ok… And I was. I took a second to pick some foliage out of my gears and was back at it (with applause from the spectators near by).

Back in business, now holding 18mph I was at the junction of the two loop course and here’s where the rapid decline happens.

There was a volunteer with a bullhorn letting riders know which was was the finish and which was for the 2nd loop. For whatever reason as I approached he put down the bullhorn, turned around and walked away!

Which way do I go?!

I yelled to the officer & volunteer asking “Which way for lap 2?!?… I’m not sure if it was a Miscommunication or what but they all pointed left, so I turned. Riding hard I went through downtown LZ around the lake and back towards the park. Before I knew it I was being screamed at to slowdown and dismount!


With the course layout there really wasn’t anyway (that I noticed as I filled with rage) to go back out on the course. To the bike rack I went, muttering words that I won’t write here. I threw my helmet to the ground, pissed that I cut the course and DQ’d myself.

Begrudgingly I laced up my shoes thinking, you know what at least I’ll get a killer workout today… Look at that glass half full, positive vibe. I took my timing chip off and hit the run course.

About a 1/4 mile in I needed to tie a shoe, I bent down and heard footsteps coming up behind me. It was Jen Harrison… I had cut the course so bad on the bike that the person who would be the overall winner of this race was BEHIND ME!

About a mile in I had a pain in my stomach… Remember that bathroom issue from earlier? Well my body decided it was time to go. I ran a little bit more before deciding to call it a day. I was angry and walked what was left of my first loop on the run… Then hit the bathroom in transition.

Could this race have gone any worse?!? Well yes, probably… But some REALLY bad stuff would have had to happen.

So what did I learn?

– If I think it’s going to be too hot, leave the wetsuit in the bag.
– Don’t completely rely on signs or volunteers to direct you on the course.
– Pack EXTRA hydration & nutrition incase some gets hit by a car.
– Eat more fiber.

Next race is Wauconda Tri in 2 weeks, after that is my A-race MiTitanium. Hopefully I work the kinks out by then!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s