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Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 - Triathlon


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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
88F / 31C
Sunny
Total Time = 7h 13m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 167/199
Pre-race routine:

Signed up for this race to keep me training through the winter and spring. Had a pretty good training block and and got a much needed bike fit about a month out from the race.

Didn't drive the two hours up to Chattanooga until Saturday afternoon. Did athlete registration and bike check-in in about 90-degree heat. Thought I was going to get a sunburn just by doing this! Great pre-race atmosphere with a reported 4,000 athletes registered. It was around 4 p.m. when I was done with everything, and a little too early to eat dinner, but I thought it would be prudent to go ahead and get dinner to bring it back to the Airbnb. TACO MAMACITAS! Sat a a table and ate some chips and guac, and even had a skinny margarita before taking enchiladas to-go.

My Airbib was about 4 miles from the action, and so cute. It was a basement apartment with a separate entrance from the main house, and a view up on the hill to die for. I sat outside for awhile and ate, then watched the sun set. Got everything ready to go for the 4 a.m. wake up call.
Event warmup:

Drove into downtown and parked right across from the Aquarium ($8 all day! Score!) and was in transition by 5 a.m. Michele was racked right by me, and she let me borrow her bike pump. Set everything else up then headed to the busses to the swim start. Pleasantly surprised they had PLENTY of busses, and soon I was at the start and had a long time to wait.

Seeded myself in the 40-43 minute swim time - they advised to seed yourself in a time you would do without the current. Put on a 2nd coating of sunscreen and drank water while I was waiting. Got into my wetsuit around 6:30 a.m. Pro gun went off at 6:50 and we saw the men come downstream flying. It did seem to take them awhile to get there though!

As the line started moving, people peering at the water announced that they were moving the upstream boueys and THERE WOULD BE NO UPSTREAM SWIM. This happened last year I guess. Too strong of an upstream current for the average age grouper, based on how slow the pros went. I would have rather done the whole swim, but whatever!

It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to get to the start line, so I had to PEE SO BAD! I was surprised at how slow the line was moving, then I realized I was almost at the very end! I think a number of people jumped ahead of where they would normally seed themselves, because I always assumed a 40-minute Half Iron swim was around average. My bladder was about to explode, so I was more than ready to get in the river.
Swim
  • 21m 47s
  • 1325 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards
Comments:

Finally at the dock, I was so excited and high fived all of the volunteers before jumping in. Water was cold and refreshing! Wetsuit felt great! Goggles didn't fog up! With swimming 100% downstream with a current, I knew I was going to fly. And I did. I immediately stopped kicking so I could try to pee - I basically just pee'd the entire swim on and off haha!

Passed a bunch of people just floating on their backs doing double breast stroke, people talking to each other, etc. Had two logs hit me in the face but congratulated myself for not freaking out. Peed some more and some more and some more. Couldn't quite empty my bladder but it was enough to feel a little better. The swim went so fast. Before I knew it, I had swum under the three bridges and could see the exit already! Stumbled a bit on the stairs but had a volunteer pull me out successfully. Glanced at my watch and was shocked to see 21:xx. Crazy!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - this was a shortened and fast, current-assisted swim. I actually worked to swim and didn't lolly gag, so was pleased with my effort.
Transition 1
  • 06m 51s
Comments:

Wetsuit strippers were on point and got me out super quick. And right at the swim exit were Atlanta Tri Club people - yay! The steep ramps out of the river had me walking, but after that, I ran the entire way. I ran for 4 minutes straight (.4 miles) to get to my bike, and realized I was about to pee my pants I still had to pee so bad! I looked around and just said oh forget it and let some out right there (shrug!). Never done that before! Put on socks, shoes, helmet and sunglasses before walking my bike to the Bike Out arch. Let the sunscreen people put a thick coat of sunscreen on my arms before heading out (this was application #3 for the day).
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! This was a great time for me considering the .4-mile run.
Bike
  • 3h 31m 21s
  • 56.56 miles
  • 16.06 mile/hr
Comments:

Ever since my bike fit, where my seat height was raised multiple inches, I've had a ton of anxiety about getting on and off the bike, feeling so high up. I walked my bike well past the mount line to get out of everyone's way, and took my time getting on. Once on the bike, I relaxed, knowing I wouldn't have to unclip until I was back in transition. Still had to pee! Very hydrated I guess.

The first 10 miles out of town is fairly flat, minus some railroad tracks (people lost SO MUCH crap off their bikes!). Passed the Dollar General and was excited to be on some familiar roads having ridden the full version of this course multiple times. The half version makes one different turn at mile 25, and goes straight up a hill that the Facebook groups couldn't stop talking about. So I was keeping my eye on my mileage so I could down shift before the turn.

Made the turn onto Andrews and immediately saw people off the bike and walking. I could see the top of the hill so knew it couldn't be that bad. Just put my head down and kept going. Heard some of the people who were walking justifying over and over why they didn't want to kill themselves here and it was ok to walk. It IS ok to walk, but I also feel like it's not that difficult to look at a bike course elevation and realize that you need to train on hills. EH? This was not a long hill at all. Maybe a minute of climbing. Then you got to BOMB down the other side - so much fun!

After this, we turned back north and I knew we'd have a tail wind the rest of the way - SO NICE. I mean, it was a light breeze by my standards, maybe 10-12 mph, but still, a great aid on the back half. On one of the long downhills, I had to pee so bad (and did NOT want to stop to clip out) so I just stood up and peed myself. I don't love doing that, but I really didn't want to stop - my moving average was looking SO GOOD and I felt SO GOOD. I ended up doing this twice.

There were only 3 aid stations on the whole bike course, which didn't seem like quite enough. I had two ladies ask me where the next aid stations were because they were so far apart. Rode through Chickamauga and I kind of felt like I had missed the spectator party - not many people left, but still fun. Right after that, I was doing a normal gear change and my chain dropped. Don't panic. Got off the bike and was able to quickly get it back on. Whew. No twisted or broken chains today. The stop did drop my average mph under 16, but no worries.

Making the turn for the last 10 miles into town I was so freaking happy. I said for probably the 3rd time, out loud, OMG I LOVE TO RIDE! I was just having so much fun. I was able to get my average back above 16 mph and was so excited riding into transition. I had THE BEST RIDE!

Nutrition: 3 servings Infinite Nutrition (750 calories) and four licks of Base Salt.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - I rode really well for my abilities. Dropping my chain doesn't phase me anymore, and luckily it was in a safe spot to pull over and fix it quickly. I enjoyed this ride maybe more than any other race I've done. So great.
Transition 2
  • 06m 5s
Comments:

After unclipping, I immediately took off my bike shoes. I had a touch of hot foot after mile 40, but when my feet hit the ground I had some INTENSE pain. Pretty bad. So I just walked it in to my rack trying to get the blood moving.

At my rack it was easy to put on my running shoes and grab my hat, race belt and water bottle. Jogged to the porta potty inside transition and FINALLY emptied my bladder. FINALLY. First time it had been empty since 6 a.m. Let the sunscreen people put application #4 on my arms, shoulder/back, ears and neck.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - had to empty my bladder and walk through the hot foot.
Run
  • 3h 06m 3s
  • 13.16 miles
  • 14m 08s  min/mile
Comments:

Started the run feeling pretty peppy - good sign! I was NOT going to walk the entire run like I did at the full in September. Passed the Atlanta Tri Club cheer squad at the hot corner and got to work with my 4:1 interval. Walked up some of the first hills, but then was determined to stay on my interval. Which was hard, with the temps climbing near 90 degrees.

The exposed sections running on highway were brutal in the sun, but I kept telling myself to take it 4 minutes at a time. Decided to take a lick of Base Salt every 2 miles, and I really think that contributed to me running as much as I did. Miles 2, 4, 6 clicked by. I was taking full cups of Gatorade at every aid station, drinking TONS of water, and really pleased with my ability to keep running. Passed the hot corner and got tri club love again, it was so great they were out there!

2nd loop I knew I'd be slowing down and that was OK. Took some Coke and half a gel somewhere. But around mile 9 I started to lose all my energy. Walking quite a bit more, but still running here and there. Started putting ice in my bra. Took another gel around mile 10 or 11. More walking, but still in good spirits. The last couple of miles were pretty tough on me.

Finally got over the long bridge and started jogging here and there knowing I was close to the finish. Ran past the hot corner one last time and tri club people were STILL out there cheering their hearts out. I thanked all of them for being out there and turned towards the finish. To my surprise, there were lots of people in the chute. I high fived a lot of them! Hit the red carpet and took it in. I'll never get tired of running down that red carpet.
What would you do differently?:

Obviously, run more. Train in more heat. Lose a few pounds. That kind of thing. But knowing I'm really not built to be a runner, I'm always proud of myself for gutting out runs and keeping my spirits up.
Post race
Warm down:

Not surprised I was emotional after crossing the finish line and was crying. Mostly grateful tears for being able to do this. I sat down in the shade and let myself cry a little, then pulled it together when my buddy Dane came to say hi and see how I was doing. Then I went to get my morning clothes bag (that I had my phone and car keys in - kind of a dumb risk to take if it had gotten lost!) and went to the food tent. There, my buddy Andrew sat with me and chatted for a long time. Started to feel better after eating the meat out of a BBQ pork sandwich and drinking a can of Coke. Chatted with another super nice guy (who had Type 1 Diabetes and was showing me his battery powered cooler where he carried his insulin!) before getting my bike and everything packed up.

Packing up solo is the worst part of racing alone. It took me awhile to bag up all my crap and figure out how to get it all rolling without dropping anything. Luckily, my parking spot was only a few blocks away so I didn't have to balance things for too long. Changed in the car and thankfully had a pack of wipes so was able to get some of the clumps of sunscreen and salt off of me before heading home. Very tired. So very tired.

Headed out of town and planned to stop for a snack because I was pretty hungry and had to pee again and wanted to take a nap. But decided to call my mom and thank goodness - we talked for literally an hour and 10 minutes and she kept me awake. Got home around 7:30 p.m., took a epsom salt bath and ate most of a pizza I had been saving. WHEW.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It's all on the run where I slow down.

Event comments:

Chattanooga 70.3 is such a lovely race. Downstream swim (upstream portion was cancelled this year), GORGEOUS bike course and an exposed/hot run. The community loves Ironman races and it's a great host city. 100% recommend!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2018-12-31 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:21:47 | 1325 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/199
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
100% downstream with a strong current
Suit:
Course:
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding:
T1
Time: 06:51
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
03:31:21 | 56.56 miles | 16.06 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/199
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: After riding out of town, the ride is in beautiful north Georgia - so scenic!
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 06:05
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
03:06:03 | 13.16 miles | 14m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/199
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
2 loops
Course:
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2019-05-20 8:07 AM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3


2019-05-20 9:22 AM
in reply to: #5258956

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Champion
9998
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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
2019-05-20 9:41 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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299
100100252525
Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
Way to go Lisa! So glad you had a good race.

I hit the wall on my recent 70.3 run as well. My biggest complaint about a spring race is that 90% of the training leading up to it is not in heat then BAM - super hot on race day.

Glad you weathered it well!
2019-05-20 9:48 AM
in reply to: #5258956

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Master
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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
Congrats on your day! Nice RR...
2019-05-20 9:51 AM
in reply to: #5258956

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Congratulations, Lisa, great job!  The smile on your face with your medal says it all.   Sounds like you went into the race with a positive attitude and kept it throughout.

2019-05-20 10:09 AM
in reply to: #5258956

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Master
2389
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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
Congratulations, Lisa! Sounds like a beautiful day, and you gutted out a pretty toasty run leg.


2019-05-20 11:30 AM
in reply to: Atlantia

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Extreme Veteran
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San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
2019-05-20 11:50 AM
in reply to: #5258956

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163
1002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
Way to go! Great race report. Makes me want to do Chatt next year!
2019-05-20 12:25 PM
in reply to: Rdracer99

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Member
1835
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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3
awesome job. Chatty would be the perfect course for me except for Barton Ave and the heat - OMG THE HEAT!! Yeah that sucks the life out of the best runs.

Way to rock it and glad you had fun. And no wonder the full swim was cancelled last fall. Did you see some of the debris floating down river that day? OMG what if someone got knocked in the head with that!?
2019-05-20 3:34 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Pro
5122
5000100
Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Very well done!!  Tough to beat the heat but I love the community and the course!

congratulations!

2019-05-20 6:47 PM
in reply to: #5258956

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Master
1931
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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

congratulations- loved reading your race report..hydration is a beautiful thing lol...good for you tackling the whole process solo . good race..you go girl!



2019-05-21 10:07 AM
in reply to: #5258956

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Master
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Orlando
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Congrats on having such a great race! Sorry not sorry the upstream portion of the swim was cancelled  I am a fan of this venue-even if it isn't a fan of me!

2019-05-21 2:47 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Master
3861
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Toronto
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Really great job, Lisa - such positive spirit for the race. I love reading that and feeling your happiness to be out there! 

2019-05-21 9:01 PM
in reply to: juniperjen

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Master
4373
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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Great job on the race and the report!  Early races are tough, way to keep the positive attitude! 

2019-05-22 10:04 AM
in reply to: IronOx

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Master
7650
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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Nice race! So glad that you had fun!

2019-05-27 8:45 PM
in reply to: #5258956

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Master
6578
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Good job, congratulations! I thought that it was really great to see how calm and cool you were through the chain drop incident.  Congrats again on a job well done!



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