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Ironman Chattanooga - Triathlon

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
74F / 23C
Total Time = 11h 50m 29s
Overall Rank = 782/2349
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 153/403
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 4:00 and had a bagel with jelly, a cliff bar, some granola, and a bottle of Gatorade. I made my sammies for my special needs bike bag and just chilled for an hour or so. Was out of the hotel about 5:15 and headed down to transition.
Event warmup:

None. Unless you consider standing in line and walking 100 feet every 20 minutes warm up. This was my biggest "problem" with the race. There was no way to warm up swim or even get your face wet prior to jumping in for the start. But,oh well, thems the breaks!
  • 59m 53s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 25s / 100 yards

Holy current Batman! Not much to say here, the current was certainly the pay back for the long bike course. Sub 60 for the IM distance... Me??? Yea the current was a big factor. My best HIM swim is about 41 minutes so for me to go 59 for the full is nothing short of amazing.

The river was wide open and I think I had maybe 3 or 4 bumps along the way... it was like I was swimming by myself, I've had more washing machine effect on pool swim sprints, so this was a very nice way to start the day. I just went into it thinking about swimming nice and easy... stoke, stoke, stroke,breath. That was my plan and I executed well. Overall I was very happy with the swim, I was just below the middle of the pack which is par for the course for me, and I came out of the water feeling absolutely fine, not winded, tight, or with an elevated HR at all, a total win!
What would you do differently?:

Even with the current aided outstanding swim, I'm still concerned about my biggest weakness. Time aside I still finished in the bottom half of the AG and the OA. I still need to get some lessons one-on-one and improve this weak point of my game.
Transition 1
  • 14m 36s

Painfully slow, but totally what I expected. I decided going in that it would be a 2 change of clothes day for me. Being my first full IM I wasn't taking any chances. I swam in jammers and had bibs and a cycling jersey for the ride. I knew that it would take awhile to change and to lube up, but I didn't care. All in all, this time is about what I expected. I was planning 15 for T1.
What would you do differently?:

Not much really,I didn't have a full zip jersey and I knew that would cost me some time and it did, plus I went with the bibs as opposed to shorts since I didn't want the tight waistband for 6+ hours so given that I could have shaved some time but likely it would have been at the expense of comfort so I'm OK with it. As I do a few more fulls I'm sure this will come down.
  • 6h 29m 12s
  • 116 miles
  • 17.88 mile/hr

This was a fairly good ride and I think executed well. My plan going in was to ride at 140 BPM or below. I wanted to keep it easy to the point that it would seem too easy. I set my Garmin to alert on my HR window and I ended up developing a love-hate relationship with it, by the end I talking back and begging it to let me go above 140 just for a little while. But since this was my first full, I didn't want to compromise my run so I didn't go above 140 unless absolutely necessary (passing, climbs, etc.). My pacing plan had me doing about 17 MPH at 140 BPM and I was usually able to stay above this for my 5 mile splits even keeping below 140 so I was good with it.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much. In hindsight I think that my 140 BPM limit was a little low, but I was being overly cautious for my first full. In looking back I think I could have gone a bit harder and not compromised my run.
Transition 2
  • 12m 38s

Another slow transition, again fully intentional. Although I did have this pegged at 10 minutes in my race plan so I was a bit slower than expected. Part of that is due to my decision to wait to pee until I got off the bike. Again as I do more fulls, I fully expect these times to come down some.
What would you do differently?:

As I said, I did 2 full changes. Wearing bibs and a jersey for the bike wasn't going to work for the run so I changed into compression shorts and a singlet. I think if I put more time in on the bike using tri shorts I can get away without the changing. This would save a boat-load of time.
  • 3h 54m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 56s  min/mile

This is and always will be my bread and butter event. I'm a runner who has come to triathlon so I really never worry about the run. I'm not the fastest guy out there by any means but my run is far better than my swim or bike, so by the time I start running I make substantial progress in "picking up places". This race was no different. Once I started the run I immediately started passing folks, and pretty much continued doing so until the end. I ran the whole course, only walking though aid stations to drink. I wasn't a huge fan of the concrete path, that was a lot of hard miles and the hills hurt, but I did run them.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I executed my race plan very well. I had planned to run 9:00/miles and the first half had me running a bit faster although my HR was right were I needed it to be. I did intentionally slow some in the middle and towards the end to mitigate the potential of me hitting the wall.

All in all a good race. I think I could have stayed steady with a target 8:45/mile and been able to hang on, but again for my first full I was happy. My biggest "goal" was run sub-4 for that was all I was really thinking about... I know I could have gone faster but I was happy that by mile 18-20 I was on target and still feeling strong. Had this been a stand alone marathon, I would have kicked it up a notch at that point. But since I was on goal and I was soaking in the glory of feeling so strong at this point of my first IM, I didn't care at all and just decided to keep pace.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a bit, had some pizza and chocolate mike (great combo, I know!) and then went back to the hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training limited my performance, but I still managed to meet each of the revised goals I set for myself so I'm happy. Hopefully, I'll be able to stick to a plan for the next one and be able to perform better.

Event comments:

Fully satisfied with my first full IM. I was very concerned with how this would turn out... since registering I moved into a new position at work and my training plan was decimated. I had every intention of following the Fink Competitive Plan, but that idea fell apart and I sort of cobbled together my own "plan" which saw me do a total of 6 rides of 75 or more miles with none in the 100's. My longest run since my spring marathon was about 15 miles, and since January I only swam about 38K meters. Not ideal IM training at all. Although I think that may have helped in that my mindset was to finish and have fun, so I really wasn't stressed at all leading up to the race. Additionally the weather conditions were perfect for the race, that certainly helped.

The race itself was awesome, as was the 'Noog. The city and its residents were gracious hosts and I know that this race will be a favorite to many.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-10-02 12:00 AM
00:59:53 | 4224 yards | 01m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 245/403
Overall: 1329/2349
Performance: Average
Suit: None
Course: Point to point
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 14:36
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:29:12 | 116 miles | 17.88 mile/hr
Age Group: 302/403
Overall: 1509/2349
Performance: Good
HR Avg 135, Max 174
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loop lollipop course
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 91
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 12:38
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:54:10 | 26.2 miles | 08m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 153/403
Overall: 782/2349
Performance: Good
HR Avg 152, Max 203
Course: 2 double loops
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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] 4

2014-10-07 11:12 AM

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Washington, DC Metro
Subject: Ironman Chattanooga

2014-10-09 1:42 PM
in reply to: #5057498

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Great Job Man!
2014-10-14 11:09 AM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by dmbfan4life20 Great Job Man!

Thanks, Matt.  It's been a long time coming! 

2014-10-14 12:22 PM
in reply to: Sous

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
I know it has! very happy for you. Impresive time too. I know that swim must have been fun. I had a friend who raced IMMD the week before and did the swim in 2:06 and at IMCHOO he did the swim in 1:04 lol
2014-10-22 1:53 PM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Just got around to reading this...awesome race David!

2014-10-27 12:13 PM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by jmhpsu93

Just got around to reading this...awesome race David!


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