It’s been a busy few months since Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee! I’ve been to Canada and Arizona for a couple races with Aaron and have been busy with work too! I wanted to get this race report up a while ago but better late than never, right? I definitely had high expectations going into this race this year after coming out on top last year.
On Thursday night, Amanda and I headed up to the Chicago area to stay with my mom for the night. Friday morning we woke up and got in a short bike/run workout and then packed the car back up and left for Milwaukee so that we could get there in time for the practice swim in the lake. After that we picked up our race packets, got our bikes checked in, got checked into the hotel, relaxed for a little while, and then met my family at Carrabbas for dinner (that’s where we all went last year and after the race I had last year I figured lets stick with that again!). Dinner was good and it was great seeing and catching up with my family. Amanda I headed back to the hotel, finished a few pre-race items, and called it a night.
Drive to Chicago
Bike check in the day before the race
Race morning rolled around pretty early but with all of the different age group starts, we had a good 4 hours or so till our waves would start. I had my standard breakfast in the car on the way over to the race, a banana, a Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif Bar, and a cup of coffee. I got set up in transition and had brought the trainer with me in hopes of spinning out the legs for a few minutes (like I did last year). However, a USAT official came up to me saying I wasn’t allowed to use it, which was a major bummer. There’s something about a short bike warm-up that really helps me have a better race, especially for a shorter race like an Olympic, you have to be ready to hit it hard right from the start. I didn’t let it phase me though as I have raced well without a bike warm-up. After transition closed, we still had over an hour and a half before our wave started. I met up with FFT Pro Development athletes Justin and Mike as well as another FFT athlete Lane and his family. We got in a few pre-race group pictures and then hung out for another 30 minutes. About 30 minutes before our wave was set to start, Justin and I went out for a 15 minute run warm-up and I could already tell it was going to be warmer than last year. It wasn’t supposed to be too hot but the sun was shining and the temps were rising!
Everything all set-up race morning
Amanda and Me before the race
A little Beet Root Juice before the race
Relaxing and getting the legs loose
The water was chilly but not too bad for a full wetsuit (low-mid 60’s?). We were able to get in the water for a few minutes before the start. The gun went off and it was go time! I knew I needed to get out fast and get with a group. Justin and Mike ended up leading our group out of the water by about 2 minutes and then there was a handful of us that came out all pretty close to each other. My swim was right around the same time as last year (although the course was slightly different this year).
Coming out of the water
I knew I needed to hammer the bike to catch up to Justin and Mike as well as the other athletes in the age groups that started before and after me. The bike felt like it was going well and although my overall average was still pretty good (26.6 mph), it was about 55 seconds slower than last years bike.
T2: 0:58 – as I came into T2, I saw Justin heading out on the run. I knew that he had been running well in training but knew I had a chance to catch him too.
Heading out onto the run!
This a great fast run course right along the lake! There are a couple of out and back points so you can see where some of your competition is too. I knew I was running in 2nd place in my age group behind my teammate Justin. At the first turn-around a little over a mile in I thought I was starting to catch him. I kept plugging along feeling pretty good. I was approaching the final turn-around and saw Justin running strong heading the other direction back toward the finish. I had calculated he had probably over a minute on me and it would be hard to catch him in the final 2 miles. I knew I needed to stay focused and continue to run strong as I was still competing against all of the other age groups out there too.
Coming down the finish!
Total: 1:53:49 – 7th Overall, 2nd 25-25 Age Group
My Family! So happy they were able to be there!
Me and Amanda after the race Me and Amanda with my nephew and niece!
Me and Justin – 2nd and 1st in the 25-29 Age Group!
Big congrats to Justin on an awesome race!
Overall I had a pretty good race but not quite where I would have liked to have been, especially after last year’s race going so well. Races like this though become fuel for the fire and have me excited to train even harder this offseason so that I can come in to 2015 and have my best season yet!
Thanks for reading! I hope to have a few more blog posts coming in the near future about the Chicago Marathon and about being a guide for Aaron Sheidies, the 2014 ITU World Champion for the blind/visually impaired!