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Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Chatanooga, Tennessee
United States
Team Magic
83F / 28C
Total Time = 2h 42m 38s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 56/117
Pre-race routine:

WARNING: This will be a long RR. I need to remember quite a few details about this triathlon so that I don't make the same mistakes again.

The night before the tri, my family and I enjoyed the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. We walked around, took pictures, ate a hearty meal, then jumped in the pool for a while, and finally went back to go to sleep.

As I was prepping for the next day, I stopped for a moment. I felt like a warrior preparing for battle. I kind of laughed to myself at this point, thinking I was being cheesy, but that's honestly how I felt...

After everything was checked and double checked, I attempted to go to sleep. I don't know if I was nervous or what, but I didn't doze off until after 2AM... Great. My alarm was set for 4:40.

I woke up, put my contacts in, and put on my DeSoto Liftfoil Speedsuit. I noticed that there was a small thread loose in it, but eh, whatever. I'm sure there are more than one thread loose on my other tri gear.

Breakfast was a cup of oatmeal and part of a Mojo bar.

I rode the mile down to the TA and was pleasantly surprised that I was the first at my rack. I racked my bike on the end and set up. I made sure I got as close as I could to the end, then put my towel and essentials on the outside of the rack. My reasoning was that nobody would move my bike if they saw I had a towel on the outside.

I made the decision that I would only go with 2 Hammer gels and 1 bottle of gatorade. I kept thinking, is this enough, is this enough? Hmmmm. In hindsight, I think 1 more gel would have made a HUGE difference.

I then ran the mile back to the hotel as a warmup. This was a mistake. Even though it was only a mile, it was waaaaay too early to start warming up. One funny note: there were a bunch of prostitutes hanging around the bus stops, and they were not all.

When I got back to my hotel room, I noticed that the loose thread was longer. I lifted my leg and it de-threaded! I basically had a split suit that I knew would do me no good. Holy Cow! What would have happened if that malfunction happened on the swim? or bike? or ride! Or, what would have happened if I didn't have a backup? Race in running shorts?

Luckily, I had a backup tri suit. It was older and a little stretched out in the shoulder area, but better than nothing. I am glad I decided to bring a backup. DeSoto makes fine products, but I was very disappointed that my expensive Liftfoil Speedsuit was Faq'd.

I woke up the family around 6AM and we left at 6:30. Oh, the joys of waking up a 1, 3, and 5 year old at 6 in the morning. :)
Event warmup:

Family and I arrived to the start location and we hung out a while, took pictures, and had fun. I really tried to soak up as much as I could. This event was HUGE! Tons of tents, tons of ppl, tons of energy and music.

I went over to my bike, double checking everything one last time before I boarded the bus to the staging area, then came back and kissed my family. The buses were loading, so I hopped in line and waited.

The drive over to the swim start seemed long, but I started talking with a fellow AG (Derrick). He gave me some advice and then we parted ways.

The swim start was next to a football field. That's were we all waited. Not a bad place to wait, to be honest. They had drinks in one corner, port-a-potties in another, and nervous athletes in between.

I started to do some short runs up and down the length of the field. After 10 minutes, I decided I was warmed up enough and started looking around for ppl I knew. I found a few friends and hung out until it was time...
  • 29m 17s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 57s / 100 meters

When I jumped in the water, I was surprised by how warm the water felt. I started to swim kind of hard at the start and didn't stop until I was at the first bridge. At that point, I noticed that I was a little off line with everyone else. I started to change my trajectory when I noticed something under water. It was large. I almost panicked at that time and started signaling for a kayak. I was really, really, really freaked out. The kayak didn't see me and I thought to myself...well, even if he does come over, I can't jump onboard with him, soooo, I might as well swim.

I used the remaining bridges as site points. It was great. I don't think I've ever swam straighter. Shore to the left or right and a big old bridge in front.

I started catching more ppl and felt strong when I passed them. It felt good not to get passed for a change! I started to get a foot cramp after the second bridge, but pushed through it and it went away.

After the third bridge, I was ready to get out. I actually almost overswam the exit, but at that point I made a hard right and pushed it as hard as I could go. The volunteer helped me out and I started running as hard as I could to the TA.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know. Maybe swim more.

I definitely should have taken a gel right before the swim. I think it would have helped.
Transition 1
  • 01m 54s

Transition kind of threw me off in that you had to run the full length of the TA, then run back up.

I ran hard, dropped my goggles and cap, put on my shoes, sun glasses, and then helmet...then I was out.

I had the 3rd fastest T1 in my AG.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was in and out...very fast.
  • 1h 22m 47s
  • 26.1 miles
  • 18.92 mile/hr

Man o man did I underestimate this segment. I thought I'd be ok with 1 bottle of gatorade and 2 gels. I took the first gel at the start, planning on taking the second one at mile 10. I ended up waiting to take the 2nd gel at mile 16ish. I was trying to wait until the last possible moment to use it.

I felt really strong at the start and thought I was doing ok. At the 10 mile point, I was under 33 minutes. My goal of 20mph was slipping away fast. The next 10 miles were around 34 minutes and I knew that goal was out the window. I then concentrated on catching and passing ppl.

I dropped my chain 2x somewhere along the way, going uphill. 2 times, within 2 or 3 minutes of each other. That really, really blew the wind out of my sails.

At mile 22, on a downhill, I pushed it as hard as I could. I was FLYING by ppl and hit a max speed of 41.2mph. I kept thinking, PLS DON'T fall! Pls don't get a flat... Road was wet at this time from all the mist and light rain.

Lots and lots of cars off to the side, blocked off by cones. Lots of ppl parked off the highway cheering for their athletes.

The end came and we went through downtown. Dismounted and ran into T2.

I was very, very disappointed with my split.
What would you do differently?:

Take more nutrition and fluids.

Train more on hills. ALOT more.
Transition 2
  • 01m 17s

T2 was fast. I still had to run down the TA, then back up it.

Top 20 T2 in AG.
What would you do differently?:

Eh, maybe run harder. Probably not.
  • 47m 25s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 38s  min/mile

I tried to make up for not drinking enough on the bike. I drank at every aid station. I even walked for 4 seconds at the second aid station so I could down a whole cup of powerade/gatorade.

I was only passed by two AG contenders. One was 54, the other 51. They were HAULING. I did a double take when they flew by me. I wasn't running fast, but my pace was faster than everyone else around me...

What would you do differently?:

The whole run I kept telling myself to push it harder. I just didn't want it to hurt more. I was really smoked from the bike. It's a good thing I didn't push it harder on the run. I probably would have bonked mid-run.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, in the rain, looking for my family. I went into the food tent and the line was too long, so I just got 2 beers. This proved to be a HUGE, HUGE mistake. I bonked HARD afterwards. VERY HARD. I almost couldn't lift my head or hands. I felt like throwing up.

I took entirely too long to eat. I wasn't feeling well until 3-4 hours after the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I am going to say nutrition was the biggest culprit. After that, bike fitness.

Event comments:

The best race and I'll be back to get revenge next year.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-06-16 12:00 AM
00:29:17 | 1500 meters | 01m 57s / 100meters
Age Group: 96/117
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: DeSoto Tri Suit
Course: River swim, starting at a dock and then swimming 1.5km "downstream". No current (or very, very little) throughout the whole swim. You proceed to swim under 3 bridges and then you are scooped out at the end point by the volunteers.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 01:54
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
01:22:47 | 26.1 miles | 18.92 mile/hr
Age Group: 65/117
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind
Course: Start out through downtown Nooga, then get on the highway for an out and back. Lots and lots of long, challenging hills. Road conditions were smooth to rough. Several places where chunks were missing in the road. If you ran over them, you were going to have a bad day.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 79
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:17
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:47:25 | 06.21 miles | 07m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/117
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Course: Start off going up a hill, then jump on a path. You then have to climb 3 flights of stairs! KILLER! The rest of the run is along the river and then a swamp. The turnaround seems far and then you do it all again.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-07-14 9:36 PM

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

2009-07-15 4:56 AM
in reply to: #2285841

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Don't beat your self up.  You did really good for your first Oly.  Each distance brings on new challenges and you learn from them.  It looks like you took in about 300 calories for the whole race.  That's probably close to the right amount of nutrition for an Oly, but you might have raised your HR enough that very little was getting digested. 

2009-07-15 9:49 AM
in reply to: #2285841

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon
Good job on a tough, hilly race.... the fact that you weren' t happy is just motivation to smoke your time next tri!
2009-07-15 12:56 PM
in reply to: #2285841

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Great race!  This was your first Oly?!  Pretty quick!  Nice job pushing through all the minor hickups.  Oh, and your swim... that's why I close my eyes when my head is in the water and only open them when I'm breathing/sighting.  If saw anything remotely what you described, I definitely would have jumped on the kayak!

2009-07-15 1:47 PM
in reply to: #2285841

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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon
Classic seeing something under water. I think that's a fear everyone has.

Send the DeSoto back. I bet he will replace it with no questions asked. They are a great company.

Congrats on your first Oly. It's rare to have a perfect race in Triathlon, but it's always good to know what you want to focus on for the next one. Nice report.
2009-07-15 5:23 PM
in reply to: #2285841

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Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

A few other people reported the Lockness monster.  I think it would freak me out even more than you did...LOL  Great race and working through the small issues.  On OLY distance, I take two bottles but only expect to drink one.  Second (half full) is for insurance.  Just a thought. 

Good luck with the rest of the season.

2009-07-16 9:21 AM
in reply to: #2285841

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon
Great job on your first Oly!!!

I am suprised your swim wasn't fast after seeing a monster underwater.

Nice job keeping focused on the race, and not letting the road-bumps send you off track! That's what its all about, focus on race day and roll with the punches.

2009-07-16 10:46 AM
in reply to: #2289098

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Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon
great race report! monsters lurk in there dem waters!
2009-07-17 8:06 AM
in reply to: #2285841

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon
I see monsters, too...

Congrats on your day! It's a tough course, in summertime conditions, and it looks like you overcame every obstacle without a hiccup. The data you accumulate from race experience is what makes you fast on race day, ie next year you would expect to be even speedier, knowing what you know now.

Congrats again and it's on to Augusta!
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