Tri, Tri Again!

South Shore Tri Finishers

Yesterday was the South Shore Sprint Triathlon, hosted by RAM Racing, on the SouthSide of Chicago. This was triathlon #2 for the summer, and #3 for me overall (now that I have a few more triathlons under my belt, I am reclaiming the Super Sprint I did last year) and it felt great! After the Big Foot Tri, I had mondo knee pain for a week after, but so far so good on it now. We'll see how it holds up after the Apes dance tomorrow and throughout the week. I'm super proud of myself, yet again!

Fuzzy, Shaun and I headed down at 4:30am to get body marked and set everything up. I had a start time of 7:15am. The water was really choppy, and the race officials were allowing people to skip the swim if they were feeling unsafe. I was feeling a little sick to my stomach--I don't know if it was nerves or something else, but luckily it all went away once I got in the water. The swim was pretty tough--HUGE waves pushed us all around and made it tough to breathe sometimes, but it was still my favorite leg of the race. Shaun was in the wave behind me, and we finished at the same time, so that was cool to check in with him and chat at the transition area. I shaved a lot of time off my first transition time, as I decided to not wear my knee braces (yay!) and I skipped a couple of other things and just got on the bike and went. Biking remains the hardest leg for me, it just wears me out for some reason, but I saw Fuzzy early on in the bike (in different lanes) and that was a super fun boost. He caught up to me at about the turnaround, we checked in with each other, and then he zoomed on past.

PS--Fuzzy is so good! He just gets better and better every event. He's my inspiration to keep going and pushing myself.

At one point during the bike, I heard a woman call out "I like your tri-suit!" as she passed, and I saw that she had the same one! So post-race, we took a Tri-suit Twins photo. (Looking up her number, she finished in 1:33! Wow, nice work, Masumi!)

Erica and her Tri Suit Twin

The run was better than my last one, but there were still pockets of walking that I had to do. But I was also running without knee braces, so small victories! There were a pair of ladies that I kept up with throughout the event, and when we got to the last half mile, the three of us got to talking and encouraging each other and I made fast friends. When we got to the last bit before the finish, one of them said "Shall we sprint, ladies?!" and they took off! We took our post-race photos together, so I can't wait to see them. They are also doing the Chicago Triathlon in August, so I will cheer for them there!

I'm always so amazed at the support and encouragement at events like this, both from spectators and other athletes. I received so many encouraging comments and cheers and I chatted with so many other runners during the last leg (everyone commiserated about about how hard the swim was). I love this so much. It shows that we're all in this together, and it doesn't matter how you did or if you finished, but that you TRIED.

(Good thing, too, cause I came in last in my age group again.)

BUT I shaved off TWENTY MINUTES from my last time AND finished in TWO HOURS!!!!!

Erica and a post-race Labatt Blue
Kicking back post event with a Labatt Blue. There were also hot dogs and grilled ears of corn post race--YUM!

My official times:
Swim: 16:18
T1: 5:19
Bike: 55:31
T2: 4:47
Run: 38:41
Total Time: 2:00:34
South Shore Tri Finishers

Now I have to really ramp up my training for the Olympic/International Distance Triathlon in August! EEK!