Tag Archives: triathlon

Naperville Esprit de She Sprint Triathlon 2014

22 Jun

On Sunday, June 8, I completed my first triathlon of the season. It was an all-women triathlon, which I preferred last year to the co-ed (Lake Geneva) version, so I was really pumped. Plus, because I competed in an Esprit de She event last year (their inaugural year), I was supposed to get special perks (spoiler alert: BUST).

The weather had been iffy in Chicago and I was worried about air/water temps. One blogger I read, Kelly the Culinarian, had done a practice swim in the pool we were going to use and advised me that sans-wetsuit would be OK. She was totally right, the water was 76 degrees and perfect.

The morning of the race I woke up at 4:45 and the air temperature was 55 degrees when I headed to Naperville. The transition area closed at 6:45 am and my wave wouldn’t begin until 8:15 am which meant a lot of waiting around.

The race went perfectly. I have no regrets about the amount I trained or prepared. My swim started off a bit rough because I was at the back of my wave and probably didn’t deserve to be. It’s funny how you wait what feels like forever (almost two hours) to start and when it’s your time you feel rushed! I didn’t even put my goggles on my face until about ten seconds before starting. What the heck was I doing the rest of the time? Anyway, I got a lot of feet in my face and didn’t feel free to swim comfortably until about one third into the course.

My transition one (T1) time was long. I saw my mom and was kind of chatting with her while I transitioned to bike. My biggest complaint about the race was the way they had set up the transition areas. The run out and bike in were at the same spot so those of us in later waves (read: younger) had to run with the bike longer than the others. I know it’s not a big deal, but for some reason it really bothered me. Probably because it’s uncomfortable running when you’re exhausted and dragging a bike on your side.


The bike ride was great – it was actually my best leg. It was two laps and there was a strong head wind on the second half of each lap which made for some cold riding but the tail wind side was so great and I could hit up to 21 mph. I did see one wipe out because there were sharp turns and lots of lost water bottles.

Like I said I wasn’t thrilled about the way transitions were set up. Running with the bike is difficult. Nothing noteworthy during T2 other than I found my sunglasses in my cycling shoes (I thought I had left them at home). I wore a hat for the first time – mostly so my parents could see me – that I had won from my friend and former classmate Erin’s blog. Thanks, Headsweats!


The run was OK. There was little crowd cheering and it felt kind of lonely. I don’t know if I’ll ever master the jelly-legs feeling you get off of the bike that makes you feel like you are crawling when you’re trucking along at a regular run pace. No hills or surprises so that was a win for me!

My parents came out to support me and take photos and I really appreciated it. There was a fun “lifestyle market” at the end of the race that really wasn’t any different than other races I’ve finished. There was a VIP “founding finishers” tent for those of us that races with Esprit de She last year but it wasn’t very exciting. They didn’t offer anything exclusive other than private port-o-potties and sparkling grape juice.

Like I said – great weather and a great race. No regrets. Plus my mom and I picked up Portillos on the way home – WIN!


Swim (1/2 mile): 15:27

T1: 4:23

Bike (14 mile): 49:17 (avg 16 mph)

T2: 3:19

Run (5k): 33:17 (10:43/mi)

Total: 1:45:41


Lake Geneva Triathlon Recap

16 Sep

Second triathlon… done!

The Lake Geneva tri was Saturday and it was awesome! Not as awesome at completing Pleasant Prarie with my friend, Jamie, but still awesome.

I had a doctor’s appointment and a dentist appointment on Friday and had the rest of the day to pack up and get to Lake Geneva to pick up my race info. I got to William’s Bay on Friday around 7:00 pm, grabbed my packet, and bought a sweet new swim bag and some anti-fog goggle spray. As it turns out, the goggle spray never made it home with me. To this moment I am still not sure where it went. That was a bummer.

I stayed at my neighbors’ lake house and we had some pizza and pineapple the night before and they helped me apply my tri tats (which still aren’t off my arms yet! HELP!). Then it was time to set my alarm for 4:30 am.

A funny thing happened at 4:30. I woke up, checked the weather, and it was 36 degrees outside. 36! It had been in the 90’s earlier this week and was a beautiful 60ish on Friday. What happened!? Luckily, they pushed the start time (6:30) back 45 minutes because they knew it was just too cold for people to be transitioning from water to bike, but unluckily we had to stand outside waiting from 5:30-8:15 when I finally went off. I’m grateful that by 8:15 the sun had come out and I had started to warm up a bit. Let’s get into the good stuff, though.

The Swim – 500 meters (1/3 mile)

The water temperature was about 72 degrees and I didn’t wear a wetsuit. At ankle-deep the water seems like bath water, so I thought I’d be fine, but as we waded a bit deeper I was regretting my choice to not wear a wetsuit. Since the swim was so short I thought I’d dominate, but I didn’t. Water got into my goggles and was driving me nuts the whole time. That was a real bummer because I could have done much better than I did.


I struggled to get my long sleeve shirt on over my wet body. Luckily I purchased some bike gloves because they had advised us to put our socks on our hands if we didn’t have any gloves – that’s how cold it was in the wooded areas we’d be riding through!

Bike (14.1 miles)

It was almost 9:00 so the weather was starting to get nicer. The course started with a huge climb uphill that I haven’t been training for. That was rough, but after that hill I was able to take on some smaller hills without any problems. The course was beautiful and scenic around Lake Delevan where my aunt has a cottage. I loved all the families on their driveways cheering us on! The only down side was that my bike computer wasn’t working so I never had a real grasp on how fast I was going, but I did set my Garmin so I had an estimate of the distance completed.

Lake Geneva Tri Bike

Lake Geneva Tri Bike


T2 is so simple for me since I’m not wearing bike shoes. I just drop my bike, throw on my shirt with my number on it and off I go!


The run was rough for me. I haven’t been training too much and it was very, very hilly. Plus, there were a ton of cars on the course! WTF?! I was pretty disappointed with my run time, but I know that’s where I need to focus next time.

Lake Geneva Tri Run

Lake Geneva Tri Run

Overall, a very fun, scenic race! So glad I did it. I was disappointed with the number of cars on the run course and the fact that at one point both lanes of run traffic (coming and going) had to share a single sidewalk (standard size) to get to and from the water station. That was poorly planned. Also, the name of the group that puts it on is called “TriRock” and our medals had a guitar which are both supposed to symbolize their use of music at the race but I really couldn’t tell you any point I heard music besides the finish line. I think they could beef that up a bit. Could have used some at the water station and along the hills on the run.

I’m grateful that my parents (and Lucy) came to see me finish, too. They got a few photos and then we headed back to our neighbors’ house to get ready for our other neighbors’ son’s wedding reception on a boat around Lake Geneva. The weather kept getting more beautiful and there were free drinks for my dehydrated body to soak in. It was a great time. We did some shopping in Downtown Lake Geneva and then I came back home and crashed!

Was anyone else at Lake Geneva for the tri? What did you think?

Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie Triathlon Recap

13 Aug

After the bike that broke my heart I went to the John Mayer concert on Friday night and drove up to Pleasant Prarie, Wisconsin, on Saturday!

We met at her parents’ house in Elk Grove and added her bike to my sturdy bike rack and made it about 15 miles before we saw those bikes sliding around so we pulled over and readjusted. After the adjustment we were good to go and didn’t have a single problem with the bikes! We stopped at another Craigslist house which listed a Trek 1000 for sale on their garage sale ad but it was a 50cm bike and too small for me.

After that we made it to the Rec Plex which is where the race was hosted. We were able to pick up our packets, get our bikes looked at (they filled my tires and oiled my chain!), and check our bike into our transition area (read: claim a sweet spot!!). They also had some fun vendors we shopped around at until the course talk where they went through the rules, course details, and Q&A. After that was over we headed to the hotel and made sure we had all of our equipment/clothing/supplies before we went outlet mall and Target shopping!

Before the shopping adventure began we carb-loaded at Olive Garden. I downed three bread sticks and barely touched my pasta so it’s safe to say I was carbed-up. After that we headed to the outlet mall and I was strangely disappointed. The Pleasant Prarie outlet mall is one of my favorites because I usually find great deals but I firmly believe that outlet malls are becoming way too saturated lately and now all the stores are making clothes/products just for the sake of saying they’re outlet prices. I bought some refurbished Sony headphones and a cute Bath & Body Works air freshener and Jamie got a sweet North Face jacket (true outlet price, I think) and then we made our way to Target for some Gatorade, hair ties, and other last minute purchases.

Our First Triathlon (before)

Our First Triathlon (before)

By the time we got back to the hotel, laid out all of our stuff and formulated our plan, it was nearly 11:00 and let’s be honest, that’s past my bed time on a normal night, let alone a night that we have to be up at 4:00 am. I had a hard time sleeping because I was so anxious, nervous, and excited. When we woke up at 4:00 I was actually rockin’ and ready to go!

We got to the Rec Plex at 5:00, got body-marked and set up our transition area right away. We pretty much finished getting ready by 5:20 and had more than an hour until the transition area closed and more than two hours until we actually started the race! Plus, it was 62 degrees, so we were freezing.

The cool air + warm water on the lake

The cool air + warm water on the lake

When the transition area closed at 6:30 we made our way to the beach barefoot and with one shirt for warmth that we left in the sand. The grass and pavement were so cold on our feet that we rushed to the lake shore and thawed out in the 76 degree water.

Over an hour later it was finally time to get in the water and start the race! I want to cover what I wore and what I’d do differently for each leg of the race. So here we go:

Start/swim: I wore my one-piece Nike suit, an extra sports bra, and long spandex shorts underneath. This was perfect for my swim. Plus, I got new Aquasphere goggles last week and they were awesome. They fogged up a bit, but the suction/seal was great.

T1 Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie

T1 Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie

Next time: hit start on my Garmin! I forgot to time this leg but really it was fine because it’s nearly impossible to look at your wrist while swimming. Try it. Also – get some anti-fogging stuff. I think my SCUBA teacher said toothpaste works – I will try.

T1: I kind of took my time and made sure I had everything, but everything went smoothly. I didn’t even use water to wash off my feet (we didn’t really need to) but getting on my socks was hard. I am going to research how to do that better.

Bike: Everything went smoothly on the bike! I swapped my swim cap and goggles for helmets and sunglasses but rode in my swimsuit and shorts. I DID forget to reset the odometer-thingy before the race and it’s kind of complicated to reset so I used my Garmin for time/distance and it worked fine. I was able to drink plenty of water and catch my breath on this leg and it went great. I just plan on having a better bike next time!

T2: I had been debating whether or not to switch into dry shorts for the run but I didn’t and it worked out great!

Run: Threw on my pre-pinned bib (Miami) shirt and ran off on my jello legs. Wouldn’t have done anything different here, either.

Finishing the Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie

Finishing the Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie

So how’d I do?


Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie Race Results

Iron Girl Pleasant Prarie Race Results

We did it!

We did it!

Originally my goal was to finish under two hours and I crushed that and finished in 1:37.

The race was so fun, so empowering, and so addicting! Now I’m pumped about finding more fun races. And a new bike!

Our First Triathlon (after)

Our First Triathlon (after)