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Ironman Chattanooga - Triathlon


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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Sunny
Total Time = 16h 17m 13s
Overall Rank = 1935/2586
Age Group = F50-55
Age Group Rank = 89/92
Pre-race routine:

I got home from California on Tuesday and we started the drive to Choo on Wednesday. The drive was long, fun, uneventful. When we got to Choo on Friday we went straight to IM Village for check-in, then went to find my bike and the supplemental tracker. Then we got checked in to the hotel and grabbed some dinner.

Saturday morning I went for a really short swim, just to feel the temp and get the OWS shock out of the way. After the swim we went for breakfast and did a little shopping. After a bit we went back to the room, I got my bike and run bags packed and we headed over to turn in the bags and bike. Relaxed, finished with bags, lunch, dinner, went to bed at about 9.

I set my alarm for 4 but didn't need it. I did sleep but woke often. I was awake for good at about 3:30. Got up, dressed, ate a banana, grabbed my gear and headed for the car. Holy transition line batman! We walked probably 3 city blocks in the line to get in to transition then DH waited while I went in, wiped down my seat, topped of my tires and got my bags all situated. I put my bottles on my bike and made sure everything was snug.

Once I was done in transition I walked back out where DH was waiting for me. He took the bike pump and walked me to the bus. I was going to go get in line and he was going to wait for DS2 to come from the hotel.

The bus ride to the swim start was short, dark, and quiet. I got off the bus and walked the riverwalk path to take my place in line. I folded a towel and set down to settle in for the 2ish hour wait. I chatted with the couple in line behind me. They were from the Cape Coral area of Florida so they were used to flat and warm but had done Choo before. After a while I left my stuff to hold my place in line and made the hike up to the port a johns. While I was gone DH and DS2 found my stuff and waited for my return.

More chatting. Sometime during the wait I ate two packs of jelly belly sport beans and drank water. Finally people started to stand and move closer to the start as the supporters left the line. National Anthem, which was cool standing with DS2 and the guy from Florida was National Guard. Then a cannon for the pro women's start (no pro men). Soon it was our turn. Another cannon and the line moved toward the dock. Mike Reilly was talking and I was enjoying the atmosphere as i moved forward. I kinda wet my finger to try to wet my goggles, walked on to the dock and GO!
Event warmup:

Moving around, stretching my arms...
Swim
  • 1h 08m 42s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards
Comments:

Wow, just wow...

Everyone was jumping in feet first, just a rolling, first come first in start.
I jumped in, trying to press my goggles against my face. I still got a bit of water in there. I decided to get going and see how much it would bug me. As I started I realized there was enough water in the goggles to be an irritation but I noticed if I just breathed to the right it wasn't a problem. So I headed for the first buoy, then the next. I had a few people come across my line but just maneuvered around and got back in to my groove. I caught some feet to draft a couple times but didn't stay with them. For a bit a jet ski was idling along near where I was swimming and the exhaust was not helpful to my breathing. The scene was beautiful. On a more leisurely day I would've snapped pix.

Buoy, buoy, wait is that one orange?!?!?!? That's half way! No way! That can't be right. Buoy, buoy, bridges?! Wait, those are close to the end!!! Then the red finish buoys. No way! That went way to fast!!!

Swim through the red buoys and a sharp left to the stairs. Pulled up by a couple of great volunteers, then helped up the stairs by a couple more and I was cruising toward T1.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe try to wet my goggles better for a better seal. Maybe try harder to draft.
Transition 1
  • 13m 56s
Comments:

Usually the swim is so hard for me that I don't run in T1 but this time I had the energy to run. I grabbed my bag and headed in to the tent. I didn't get a volunteer but that didn't bother me. I got changed, put my gels and base salt in my pockets, clipped on the tracker then headed out to find some sun block. I wore my RWB bike jersey and grey shorts. I opted to stick with the shorts that had a longer ride to test them.

The people applying sun block slathered it on pretty thick then I was headed to my bike. I grabbed my bike and headed to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, I thought this was pretty good.
Bike
  • 8h 28m 12s
  • 116 miles
  • 13.70 mile/hr
Comments:

I heeded the warnings about the rough spots in the first five miles and was cautious to make sure I didn't lose my bottles. I tried to pay attention to the draft zone but it was nearly impossible to avoid.

Once we got out on to the country roads things opened up some. I started my normal hydration/nutrition routine. I would agree with the description calling this rolling hills. There were truly no sustained climbs. There were a couple bigger hills that I got out of the saddle to use the muscles a bit differently. The aid stations were great. The bottle on my downtube was slimy, likely from the slathered sun block so at the start of the second aid station I pitched it and grabbed one from the AS. After that I got in to a routine of alternating water and Gatorade from the AS and just used that front bottle.

The roads were rough in spots but nothing worth giving much complaint. I went passed DH and DS2 at Chicamauga. Erin and Jason were a few miles before Chickamauga, I heard them but didn't respond in time for them to hear me. The town really turned out for this and it was great going through. Bike SN was also in this area. I felt great but decided to stop anyway.

A young man, 13 or so, came up with my bag. I reached in to the bag and accidentally dumped out a bunch of water from the melted ice in my cooler. I poured the cold beverage in to my back bottle for "just in case". Then I grabbed the small baggie of chamois butter. Um, how to pull this one off? The young man had been friendly and talking so I just maintained eye contact while I stuck my hand down my shorts to lube up a bit. At athlete check-in they gave us one of those rubber bracelets to give to a volunteer to helps our race. I gave the bracelet to this young man to make up for having shocked his southern sensibilities.

Then back on the road. The biggest hill on the course was between Chickamauga and the start of the second loop. It was doable, but notable, I thought it might hurt more the next go 'round. After the climb there was an amazing down then we eventually came back to start the second loop. I was so happy with how it was going. Between the amazing swim and a great start to the bike I was sitting pretty for a great race!

The second loop was good. Same scenes, nothing much of note, until my rear shifter cable broke :0 I had two AS left before the line back to Chatty. I asked at both and neither had a mechanic. I was stuck in the small rear gear and use of front so I basically had really hard and half-hard. I didn't want to fiddle with it myself and risk making it worse so I decided to keep on keeping on. This time Chickamauga was pretty empty but DH and DS2 and Erin were there yelling. I yelled, telling them about my issue but kept going.

So for the last 30 miles I was climbing in the small back/small front gear. After a few of those the quads were starting to complain. I knew I was good on time but was bummed that I was losing my head start. When I got to the "big" hill I decided to dismount because i didn't want to continue to fry my legs. Once I got up that hill I enjoyed the big down and the rolling back to Chatty.

I'd eaten 5 packs of Cliff Blocks over the course of the bike. By the last one I was getting pretty tired of those, but I choked it down. After the fifth I thought I'd try GU's, though I am not a fan of those. I choked that down too. I was also taking a "lick" of base salts every five miles.

When I got back to T2 I was concerned about how the shifter issue had affected my legs but as they say "it is what it is".
What would you do differently?:

Not break a shifter?
Transition 2
  • 14m 48s
Comments:

I handed off my bike then grabbed my bag and headed in to the tent. I pulled the stuff out and started changing. I had trouble getting my sport bra on. I only have one with clasps in the back so I used in in T1 assuming I'd be wetter then. Again I didn't have a volunteer but the one from the lady next to me helped me wrestle on my bra. When I got to my socks I couldn't find one but eventually located it. I got everything on and adjusted and set out to find the sun block slatherers.

I planned to eat off the course for the run so all I had to do was clip on my little flashlight.
What would you do differently?:

Buy another clasp bra.
Run
  • 6h 11m 37s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 11s  min/mile
Comments:

Once I had enough legs to start running I did. There is a bit of a hill coming up out of T2 so I walked that then started moving faster. I was feeling pretty good but felt like my heart rate was crazy. I was trying to stay around zone 3.5 so I slowed, a lot, and even walked some. Still though I felt like my heart rate was crazy. My HRM showed it wasn't but still my breathing was very labored. Around mile 3 or 4 the slight discomfort in my stomach became a shot-put residing in there. It got bad enough I couldn't run. I opted to walk fast, hoping it would pass and I could salvage this thing. I asked a couple of the AS for tums but, of course, they didn't have any. One lady offered to rub mint essential oil on my skin. I figured it was worth a try.

As I passed DH and DS2 on the bridge, about mile 6, I told them everything hurt. My quads were complaining, my stomach hurt and now, probably because of the walking, my feet hurt. I kept walking as fast as I could. At this point I was constantly calculating the remaining miles, my time, and the pace I needed to do to finish. I started having thoughts of the disappointment when I knew Mike Reilly would call my name but if it was after MY 16:30 it wouldn't be a real finish. I thought about how I'd have to explain it to my non-tri friends. I thought about the support of my friends and family and how they would say nice things to comfort me. I prayed, I talked to myself and others and I kept walking as fast as I could. Every once in a while I would try to run/walk between cones and one time I did it and it wasn't unbearable. So I increased my run intervals until I was running flats and downs and walking ups.

When I went past DH and DS2 a second time (same spot) I told them I was feeling better. I knew I wanted to try to save this thing. I knew I had a margin, but not a comfortable margin, if I maintained a decent pace. It was like I was blooming. I felt better and better, I was able to enjoy the wonderful aid stations. My feet hurt, like blister hurt, but I didn't have the time or the brain space to worry about that. It would be what it would be. I got out of my own head and started to encourage others. When I got back to essential oil lady I thanked her and when I passed DH and DS2 the third time (same spot) I told them "I am going to be an Ironman!" They cheered and told me to go get it.

My watch was dying. I'd set it for low energy use and turned off blue tooth but I guess Garmin doesn't build their watch for people who are out till cutoff. I continued to calculate how much time I had for how many miles and was sure I'd make it. (Except for the couple times my math was off and I scared the crap out of myself) My watch finally died at 21 miles. After that whenever I saw a mile marker I asked someone the clock time. I knew I had until a few minutes after midnight but wanted to be back by midnight. I told one guy that I would turn in to a pumpkin at midnight.

For the first part of the marathon I was alternating gatorade and water, and eating oranges. When my stomach revolted I kept the oranges to get calories in but switched to sucking on ice. When my stomach got better I stuck with the oranges and tested coke. That went well so for the second half I was doing oranges, coke, and still taking cups of ice.

The aid stations were great. One was Christmas and had an announcer encouraging the runners over a microphone. When I got to him the second time he told me I'd come 133 miles and had 11 to go. That puts things in perspective! Another had a train track set up and the second time through I locomotived my way along the track. That one also had a HS band which was fun to listen to, even from further away. There is one spot where the course goes under an overpass which could be dark and creepy if left alone but there was a group under there with music and a disco ball, making it a bit of a dance party.

I knew as i started on the bridge the last time that it was real, I was going to make it. Mike Reilly, who I could hear in the distance, was going to say my name. As I crossed the bridge I got rid of my cup and glow necklace, put my sunglasses on the back of my shirt and got ready for MY finish line. At first the way was wide then it narrowed at the red carpet. I started a high five that lasted all the way to the finish. DH and DS2 were there yelling. Mike Reilly said my name. Terresa (and John) you are an IRONMAN!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Not sure what caused the GI issues. I've trained with everything I had out there but it's hard to replicate the bike/run. What amazes me is that in spite of walking essentially the first 13 I still placed the best in the run. Imagine what I could have done without the GI issue?!?!?!?
Post race
Warm down:

Someone put a medal around my neck and a young man put water in my hand and checked my bib for my shirt size then got my hat and shirt. He walked me over to the cool down area then congratulated me and left me there. I walked around the cool down area for a bit then walked over for my posed backdrop pic.

After that I went out to find DH and DS2. They handed me my recovery drink so I started working on that. I wanted to watch the finishers but REALLY needed to sit. We sat for a bit, listening to the finish and swapping stories then we made our way to the car.

It was a great day. I think other than the tough run miles I was smiling the entire way.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Aside from just my level/ability it was the shifter issue and the GI issue.

Event comments:

We all know WTC puts on a good show but this one was amazing. The Ironman experience was enhanced by a spectacular course and amazing volunteers.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2017-02-01 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:08:42 | 4224 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 64/92
Overall: 1658/2586
Performance: Good
Suit: tri kit
Course: From a dock on the riverwalk, down river past a small island and in near the Chattanooga Aqarium.
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding:
T1
Time: 13:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
Biking
08:28:12 | 116 miles | 13.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 90/92
Overall: 1962/2586
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: A lollipop with a double loop in the rolling hills in the area south of Chatty and in northern Georgia.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 14:48
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
06:11:37 | 26.2 miles | 14m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 55/92
Overall: 1445/2586
Performance: Average
Course: A two lap course with two loops on the roads and riverwalk of chatty.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2017-09-28 3:37 PM

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Master
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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: Ironman Chattanooga


2017-09-29 12:07 PM
in reply to: #5228889

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Wow, just wow!  Incredible job overcoming all the complications thrown your way - bike mechanical, GI issues, clothing, foot pain.  You took it all in stride like a true champ and got to YOUR finish line to become an IRON(WO)MAN!  Excellent work persevering, my friend, way to get 'er done!

2017-09-29 12:14 PM
in reply to: #5228889

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

What a great race report, and a great race for you despite the complications! Thank you for all of the detail; so helpful for those of us doing this race after you. Congrats!

2017-09-29 12:21 PM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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50001000100100100252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by lisac957

What a great race report, and a great race for you despite the complications! Thank you for all of the detail; so helpful for those of us doing this race after you. Congrats!

This venue was amazing! I would absolutely recommend it!!!!

ETA: Of course, I didn't have the insane heat that Janyne did in 2016.



Edited by rrrunner 2017-09-29 12:22 PM
2017-09-29 1:52 PM
in reply to: #5228889

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19

Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Amazing! Wonderful report, Teresa, and your race is super inspiring for me. Your determination and staying power were unbelievable in the fact of so many challenges. Congratulations IRONMAN!

Best, Tim
2017-09-29 3:24 PM
in reply to: barrld21

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360
1001001002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Great race report. Sounds like a long and tough day but congrats on being an Ironman! Reading these reports makes me want to do a full less and less


2017-09-29 10:38 PM
in reply to: TXTriRook

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Master
6923
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Saigon, Vietnam
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Congrats Ironwoman on a great race under what sounds like really tough conditions! (Hot, bike gear problem, GI issues.) Ditto the sentiment above-- just hearing the words "Chattanooga", "Ironman", and "GI issues" is making me shudder. I hope that the course was not 2X what we did at Worlds. At least it sounds like a downriver swim. But I cannot imagine heading up Lookout Mountain twice?! If you did that, especially with bum gearing, (I assume the course goes up at least once if you went through Chickamauga), you are truly a hero in my book!
2017-09-30 7:45 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Master
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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by Hot Runner Congrats Ironwoman on a great race under what sounds like really tough conditions! (Hot, bike gear problem, GI issues.) Ditto the sentiment above-- just hearing the words "Chattanooga", "Ironman", and "GI issues" is making me shudder. I hope that the course was not 2X what we did at Worlds. At least it sounds like a downriver swim. But I cannot imagine heading up Lookout Mountain twice?! If you did that, especially with bum gearing, (I assume the course goes up at least once if you went through Chickamauga), you are truly a hero in my book!

It wasn't like Worlds. All down river, and no Lookout Mountain. I loved the course!

2017-09-30 7:14 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Master
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Saigon, Vietnam
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
I guess Chickamauga was fairly far down back toward Chatt. At that point, I was kind of out of it anyway. It just seemed like almost the entire course went up--upriver, and uphill. One woman that I was running with said to me, "This is worse than an Ironman, don't you think?" I said I didn't know, because I'd never done a full IM; we speculated whether IM Chatt was double what we were doing, and concluded that no one would ever sign up for it if it was!
2017-10-02 9:07 AM
in reply to: 0

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Member
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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
I've been waiting for your report!!! Way to rock it - and OMG rear cable broke? That happened to me on a casual road ride recently and I whined like a baby.

You're a rockstar! Congrats IRONMAN!


Same time next year?

Edited by mtnbikerchk 2017-10-02 9:07 AM
2017-10-02 10:28 AM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Master
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50001000100100100252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by mtnbikerchk I've been waiting for your report!!! Way to rock it - and OMG rear cable broke? That happened to me on a casual road ride recently and I whined like a baby. You're a rockstar! Congrats IRONMAN! Same time next year?

Maybe some day... but not next year. It's a great course though!



2017-10-06 6:54 AM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Master
6529
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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Congratulations, TJ! What an accomplishment and what a lot to overcome to get to the finish line!

I loved your race report. Thank you for sharing :-D

2017-10-18 8:23 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Master
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Orlando
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

I can't believe I missed this report!  Congratulations on becoming an ironman!! You really earned the title!  

2017-10-21 7:54 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Member
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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Awesome race!

I'm pretty sure I would have cried if my cable broke! (and said a few bad words)

Hmmm.... 2019?
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