I just woke up from my recovery nap after the Chicago tri. I'm happy with my 2:31 and change, but man what a crowd. This is my 10th tri, but only 2nd road tri, and the last one only had about 120 people. Crawling through mobs on the swim wsa a new experience.
One experience I had on this tri really suprised me: cramping. I've done much longer tris, but this is the first tri I've ever done where I had some leg cramping issues. Thankfully, none of it was serious enough to slow me down. The first incident was my right calf suddenly went into a painful fully tightened cramp about 10 feet from the swim exit. Now I don't kick very heavy, and I've never had such a hardcore cramp before where I couldn't do anything with my calf. As soon as I was out of the water and started jogging it was fine. I'm so lucky it didn't happen earlier.
In addition my legs started cramping about two miles from the end, but it felt more like a tightening. It was noticeable and painful, but I didn't have any trouble running through it. They felt no more sore than usual after the race.
I've been racking my brain trying to think of how I prepared differently. I was well hydrated prior to the race. I ate properly. The only thing that really pops in my head is the amount of standing I did yesterday and today. Yesterday when I went to get the race packet, I walked around the city for about 3 hours. Today before the start I don't think I hardly sat down from 4:30 am until 7:30 am. Would so much standing cause my legs to cramp up? Any ideas? I also had no real warm up other than stretching, and I always warm up some.