Chicago Waves & Tris without Tunes

25 Jul

Well, I was hoping to be able to write a post on my first Lake Michigan open-water swim that was scheduled for this past Tuesday, but as you can tell by my words and use of passive voice it didn’t happen.

Monday night the news channels started reporting a Northerly cold front that would be bringing in huge waves to the lakefront. While it would relieve us of some of the 90 degree heat it would also bring “dangerous” waves and “life-threatening” rip currents. The warning was issued from Tuesday morning through Wednesday evening which put a damper on the Open Water Swim Clinic. I was excited to learn about the swim etiquette and tips for the swim portion of triathlons, but luckily there’s another one in two weeks I can attend. I just hope it’s not too late!

I rode my bike to work that morning and the water was as calm as can be. It was so peaceful, I wanted to play hooky to work and go for a swim! Who knew the waves would turn into such monsters. Needless to say they canceled the clinic around 3:00 pm and I ended up riding my bike home that day and it was the hardest ride I’ve ever had. It took forever and I felt like I was going so slowly. I need to improve my riding-to-work ways because carrying a huge backpack doesn’t help the situation. Also needless to say, I didn’t stop to take a photo because I was afraid I’d never get going again!

Chicago lakefront waves

Chicago lakefront waves 7/23/13 – Image by Miguel Herrera from ABC 7 Facebook Page

This week I was reviewing the FAQ for the IronGirl Tri. You would think I might have done this when I signed up, but what fun would that be? I love finding out three weeks before the race that I have to be there at 5:30 AM for a 7:00 AM start time. I especially love finding out that the use of headphones is prohibited through the whole race. WHAT?!

I kind of get it. Of course we can’t use them for swimming and it’d be dangerous for biking, but I was hoping to leave my iPod shuffle and headphones at my T2 spot (are you impressed with my triathlon terminology already?) and crank up the tunes for the run. After all, I will have just swam a half mile, biked 12, and then they expect me to run three miles while enjoying the sounds of people huffing and puffing nature?

The one benefit I see to this rule (besides preventing crashes and therefore coming out in one piece, which is my goal) is testing my mental endurance. Music often makes us forget what we’re doing (which is why we listen to music while working out!) and makes it easier to plow through a task (again, that’s why we do it!). So not only will this be a physical test, it will be a mental test as well!

Have you ever run a race that banned headphones?

My friend Rachel said they’re technically not encouraged at most half marathons and marathons, but they are permitted. I did some research and found this on the 2013 Chicago Marathon site:

Can I run with an iPod/headphones?
Yes. USATF, the national governing body of the sport, recently amended its ban on headphones, iPods and similar devices. However, athletes competing for prize money are not allowed to use electronic devices such as headphones and ear pieces.

So there you have it. You can find me crawling to the finish line on August 11 without any pump up music… but at least I’ll be safe!

Oh — and take a look at this cute little muffin I took for a walk last night. It’s our friend Jon’s new puppy, RC, and she’s a 13-year old heart stealer.


RC, Jon’s new puppy


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