Arrived in Chicago Friday night around 11:30pm. Gerard was driving up from Georgia for the weekend with a friend who lived in the area and flying back to Georgia on Monday when I flew back to NJ. He was scheduled to arrive around 4am so I headed to bed and set my alarm for his arrival which was timed almost perfectly!
Saturday morning arrived, Gerard and I got up to workout. He went and did his long run as I did my pre race routine. Back to get ready for breakfast and I decided to check on my bike at Fedex so we could go pick it up. I am told its been rerouted to a sorting facility outside of the city and it won't arrive until MONDAY! I thought my race was over before it started.
We called Fedex about 5 times and they kept telling us they would look into it and get back to us. I had almost given up when my brother Sean decided to take over and somehow, with his magical powers, got Fedex to redeliver the bike to the right location, where it should have been all along.
After the bike was put together and everything was ready for race day we went out to grab some dinner at a Sushi place that Gerard would describe as "The best sushi I have ever had in my life."
Up at out by 430 am Chicago time which was 530 NJ time which is awesome!!! Set up in transition and I went to warm up a bit.
The race began at 6:19 am Chicago time. The swim went pretty well, not as fast as I would have liked but I know I have room for improvement. I was slowed down a bit by the massive piles of lake grass at the surface that I ran into and got tangled up in. I had to stop, push it down and swim over it. This happened twice, the rest of the time I was just getting it wrapped around my arms and goggles. I also almost went head on with another swimmer as we looped back to pass the start line because the buoys going out were not completely straight so if you swam straight, you swam into us, which many did. I made it out ok and ran the 450 yards to the transition area. That is where the swim time stopped so everything was a little long.
Out onto Lake Shore Drive on the bike and cruising with the wind at my back. Once we turned around the wind was in our faces but it wasn't so bad. The next part of the bike was new this year and we raced through the tunnels of Chicago. Although it was a little hard to see, there really wasn't anything on the ground that you had to see because there were no big potholes or anything. With no elements I hit 28mph cruising through the tunnels and then out onto the busway which is a road used just for buses that most people don't even know exist! I thought the bike course this year was much less boring than last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Onto the run I was the 11th female. This included the Pro field and maybe some amateurs, I wasn't sure. I ran down one woman on the way out and was able to catch another on the way back with about a half mile to go. Still having no idea where I was in the race, I came up the small hill for the finish. Thats when the announcer said I was the first female across the line! I didn't get too excited just yet because this year has been the year of getting beat by someone in another heat but it didn't happen this time. I have officially earned my Pro card. I still have a lot of work to do but I know exactly what I need to work on and I will get there and be competitive in the pro field come next season. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, I couldn't have done it without you!
Huge shout out to my sponsors, Xterra Wetsuits and Powerbar. The best products on the market have truly helped me succeed.
I am now done with my season, a little early but I felt it was the right thing to do so I can focus on some weaknesses and take a much needed break so I will come back healthy and fast next year!
Until next season...