I love going to Chicago (so many memories there and so many good times) and really enjoy racing there...but for the last two years this race has been tough for me. This year, nothing really went wrong I just struggled on the day. When I needed it, I didn't have any pop and being flat on race day against a strong field of great women athletes isn't going to bring home any podium places.
The trip to Chicago was easy; any race that is only a few hours away by plane is a treat. Our race started at 11am and race morning was a bit hot and humid. In hindsight, I really should have been more vigiliant about my hydration on Saturday and Sunday morning that is a rookie mistake I need to prevent in the future. According to the race officals, the water temp dropped magically from 76 to 71 in the 12 hours before the race so it was a wetsuit swim. Judging by the overheating going on in my wetsuit, I would say the water was probably closer to 76 than 71 but all the other women had to deal with the same issue. On the bike, the windy city delivered its wind and we had a headwind going north and a tailwind coming back south along lake shore drive. The bike was not my best; I told my legs to go and they just weren't having a great day out there. I watched Becky take off on the bike, and she had a great ride and made me feel like I was just spinning out there. Getting off the bike, I was with two other athletes in 3/4/5 positions. On the run, I melted; it wasn't quite a death-march maybe a very sick march. I did my best to hang on to my position and finished in 6th. All things considered the race was okay; it was a tough day out there but at least I finished better than last year and didn't give up when things weren't going my way.
Other than the race, Chicago was very nice. I was able to catch up with my parents as well as Uncle Hugh and Aunt Karen and their wonderful daughters. It was nice to have a small cheering section during the race and spend some time relaxing with everyone after the race. Uncle Hugh was great to carry my race bag around for a few hours after the race.....only to find out it was an imposter. Overall, it was a fun weekend with great weather in one of my favorites cities; next year maybe I'll pull through with a good race too.