If you were outside at any point on Sunday, you knew the temperature was unnatural for a day in August. Not exactly ideal conditions for a triathlon, but I did it anyway. I think it was that and the monotony of swimming, biking and running that put weird thoughts into my head. The Chicago Triathlon supposedly has the most participants in the world. And this year's race had one of the coolest temperatures.
Here's a summary of the course from a racer's perspective- i.e. the random things that passed through my mind.
I don't like to put ice in my drinks. That's how much I hate cold water. So jumping into a 60 something degree, cloudy, seaweed infested Lake Michigan was not my idea of a good time. I yelped and gasped when I jumped in the water. And for the entire length I had to hum to myself to keep on a rhythm. More importantly, I hummed to myself to keep from freaking out. What was I humming? The name Colleen. Yes, it's pretty weird. I'm not sure why. It's not a song; just two syllables. When I finally got out of the water, I felt like jello and I had seaweed hanging down in front of my goggles.
After struggling to take off my wetsuit, I hopped on my bike and took off on Lake Shore Drive. Other than the headwind traveling northbound, this ride was enjoyable. I did see a blood splatter from an earlier bike accident, but that didn't bother me too much. Early on some racer passed me along the course blasting Eye of the Tiger from speakers on his bike. After that, the song was on loop for the rest of the route. Sometimes I didn't realize I was singing the song aloud until another biker passed me. I don't even know all the lyrics.
"And it's something something eyeeeee"¦of the tiger."
Running is my strongest of all the events, and I think it's what gave me the most pain. Luckily, I had my camera with me, and taking pictures helped me forget about it. I had two other friends running the race, and I kept thinking I need to catch up to them to take pictures. I did just that. After passing my friends (I'm not tooting my horn. They killed me in the swim and bike), I was left to think of my pain and how much I wanted this race to be over. Having that on your mind for more than 20 minutes puts a damper on your spirit. So it was a good thing I was wearing long, blinding green socks. It manufactured all sorts of encouragement from strangers. It's just what I needed to push through to the free hamburger that awaited me at the end of the race.