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Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
Team Magic
Total Time = 2h 18m 28s
Overall Rank = 40/799
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 5/153
Pre-race routine:

After an awful travel day on Saturday, and a HUGE pre-race dinner (also questionable as it involved a healthy dose of chipotle peppers...) I didn't feel like eating when I woke up at 5:00am. I drank a cup of lovely hotel-brewed coffee, and had a couple of gels and some sports drink. I drove in to downtown and parked a few blocks from the event and rode my bike in the rest of the way, not before almost being taken out by an idiot driver. Body marking. Transition setup. Randy found me and we said 'hi', then back to business.

It was cool to see the massive transition area (something like 1500 athletes, 1400 plus relays), and all of the top-end bling that was there. It reminded me quite a bit of the atmosphere at IMKY.
Event warmup:

I rode for about 15 minutes. I tried to run a bit but it just didn't feel good. No swimming was allowed.
  • 25m 16s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 41s / 100 meters

The swim start was a bit screwed up. The woman who was giving out instructions (*volunteer*, so I kept reminding myself not to get upset) was pretty snarky and at the same time, wrong about how to line up. So people were pretty confused. Someone else jumped in and corrected her (which was important because of the TT start), but that only served to create additional confusion. I'm not really very confident that the timing was accurate here, as there were gaps in the starts, followed by the group getting rushed along, etc., but it is what it is. Indeed, my own start caught me off guard (we had been slowed down and then all of a sudden were told to rush), so I didn't hit the start button on my watch, leaving me wondering about my time, and also unable to know whether the timing was screwed up. Oh well.

I was swimming moderate most of the time -- probably should have gone a bit harder, but not too far off. I did pass quite a few people along the way. Sighting was easy for the most part until my goggles fogged up. (There was no chance for me to rinse them in the river water prior to the start.) I struggled for a couple hundred meters with sighting, though I didn't really get off course.

Then I came across a small pack (5-6 swimmers). There was a gap between two of them so that's where I headed. I brushed up against one swimmer (really, we barely touched) and he immediately started flailing and caught me in the face. Ouch! I turned up the speed to get though and away from him. Either the brush made him panic, or he was really trying to hurt me. Either way, he needs help.

The good news was that apparently he hit my goggles just enough to let a little water in, and they cleared up! So it was clear sailing from there to the end.
What would you do differently?:

Swim harder.
Transition 1
  • 02m 50s

There was a lot of running here, but everything went well, apart from the mount. There was nothing awful about it, just not as fast as usual.
What would you do differently?:

Cleaner quicker mount.
  • 1h 05m 28s
  • 26 miles
  • 23.83 mile/hr

I managed to get up to speed pretty quickly and got my feet into the shoes cleanly without losing momentum. Then it was time to go to work...

I already knew that my ability to run really hard was not there today, so my plan from the start was to hit the bike pretty hard, and then figure out the run when I get there. I did a decent job of keeping the pressure up, though I think I backed off a bit on some of the flats. There were masses of people of course, but the roads were wide and I had no trouble passing.

I hadn't seen the course before, and I think that if I had, I would have been able to ride it a bit faster. The size and length of the hills caught me a little off guard as well. It also would have helped if someone had passed me on the bike. I definitely do better when there is someone to chase. Still, I'm happy with this bike. Nearly 24mph in hills is pretty fast for me. I beat some of the pros!
What would you do differently?:

The up and down hills were good. I think I probably could have pushed the flats and false flats a bit harder.

Transition 2
  • 02m 4s

A decent, not great, T2. Again, lots of running involved.
  • 42m 51s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 06m 54s  min/mile

The last time I ran a similar time to this in an Oly with my hip problem, I started off running something like 6:30/mile, then exploded at mile 5. This time, I started off much slower but held pace to the end. This time was smarter. I saw Randy around mile 2 or so and then again after the turnaround. He shouted out some encouragement which really picked me up but I was hurting too much to shout back.

The course was pretty hard, and the heat was coming on. This was the first point in the race where I started to feel the competition around me. I was mostly passing people, but a guy in my AG passed me about half way and even though I already had about 90 seconds on him (one could tell by the race numbers) I decided that I needed to stay with him. Later, another M40-44 passed me, but I had more like 2 minutes on him. They beat me to the finish line, but not by a whole lot, so they served as excellent rabbits, which I really needed as I was feeling pretty awful at that point.

In fact, 'pretty awful' doesn't really describe it. Every part of my body wanted to stop. Every part of my mind wanted to stop too. I was hearing voices "why are you hurting yourself like this? What's the point? You'll feel so much better if you stop. You know it's true." But my soul wanted to keep going. This was the hardest run for me to date. The numbers don't show it -- the result is mediocre relative to what I can do when fully healthy -- but I know it.
What would you do differently?:

Taking the stairs two at a time might not have been a good idea.
Post race
Warm down:

I saw Randy finish then went for the food. And beer. We chatted for a while, then I packed up and drove home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Preparation. My training hasn't been great lately. The hip was especially unhappy on the day. It's all good, though -- this race was a more or less last-minute decision.

Event comments:

In spite of the mess at the swim start, this was a very well-run race. Superb in fact. And the venue is very pretty. I will consider going back next year despite the drive.

There were a lot of very fast people at this race. I'm very pleased with the result, and even more pleased that the race taught me a little more about how to race when it hurts.

Last updated: 2010-06-10 12:00 AM
00:25:16 | 1500 meters | 01m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 40/153
Overall: 245/799
Performance: Average
Course: River. Downstream. There was some current, though not a lot.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:50
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:05:28 | 26 miles | 23.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/153
Overall: 21/799
Performance: Good
Course: Long rolling hills with some flats and false flats. Bike was 26 miles (as advertised), not the usual 40K.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:04
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:42:51 | 06.21 miles | 06m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/153
Overall: 32/799
Performance: Good
Course: Hills, stairs, a nice riverside path.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-07-12 7:49 PM

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

2010-07-14 9:20 AM
in reply to: #2976484

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Michael-great race. Really impressive having #2 bike split in AG and #4 run.  Solid race coming off injury. Enjoyed visiting with you at the race.


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