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Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 - Triathlon


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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
90F / 32C
Sunny
Total Time = 8h 04m 6s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Peak training for Ironman Des Moines cumulated with Chattanooga 70.3 weekend, so I drove up Friday and rode 50 miles of the bike course Saturday morning. I got my period Saturday morning which threw a bit of a wrench in things. I found a lone tampon in my purse but had to stop and get a box for the rest of the trip. I was so annoyed that my heaviest flow would be on race day but gosh you just can't do anything about it. Super thanks to Whizzz/Laura for calming me down via FB Messenger Saturday night. I knew she had experience in this area and gave me some great tips. <3

On my Saturday ride, my right knee was painful the whole time but thought maybe it's just a freak thing? Surely it will be better tomorrow.

Race morning I was up before 4 a.m. and left the AirBnb at 4:30 a.m. - I was an early bird in the prime/closest parking garage on purpose. Headed to transition to set up, pump tires, eat my overnight oats/drink my coffee, lay out my stash of tampons, etc. Ran into my buddy Darren from the Tri Club and we boarded the bus together. Met up with some more tri club people and waited for the swim start as a group. This was an unexpectedly lovely part of my day, being social and having a group to hang out with. I stayed with new tri club friend Russell as we inched towards the river, we helped each other zip wetsuits and chatted like old friends. The song "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha played on the loud speakers and I said "welcome to the song that will be stuck in my head the entire day!" haha
Event warmup:

Zero.
Swim
  • 38m 3s
  • 2518 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards
Comments:

A wetsuit-legal, downstream, 1.4-mile swim is my happy place. On the dock they were having athletes sit down four across, then slide into the river every 5 seconds or so. I was so happy dunking underwater, popping back up and starting this swim. I had almost zero contact the entire time. I sighted beautifully - only had to stop once to de-fog my goggles. Never had to breaststroke or slow down. Everything was smooth and so fast with the current. There is really very little to say here except I was so happy, so calm, just soaking it all in.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I would pay large sums of money to replicate this swim for every future race.
Transition 1
  • 10m 39s
Comments:

Tri club president Tim was at the swim exit taking pictures and gave me a huge high-five. Ran to the manliest wetsuit stripper and he took care of me. Jogged the very long path into transition with the biggest smile on my face. Took my swim cap off to find the top of my head was dry as a bone! It literally didn't even get wet!

At my rack, I immediately grabbed a tampon and bee-lined to the porta potty. WHICH WAS RIGHT BY MY BIKE - I was literally the 10th bike from the end and they were right there. So lucky. Back at my bike I took my time to do all the things, including chamois butter down my pants. This was a long T1, but considering how far the run was, a porta stop, etc. - it's about what I expected.
Bike
  • 3h 49m 46s
  • 56.66 miles
  • 14.80 mile/hr
Comments:

Got on the bike and had immediate and intense knee pain in my right knee. I thought - maybe I just need to get my body 'warmed up' but it never did such a thing. A few miles into the ride I contemplated stopping. Am I injuring myself as we speak? Maybe ibuprofin will help, so I popped 2 and said a little prayer. Decided to keep going to see what happened.

The knee pain may have subsided ever so slightly from the ibuprofin, but it was painful every single pedal stroke. I found myself completely stopping my pedals on every inch of every downhill to just have a few seconds with no pain (RIP my pace). Damn. This is bad. Then my hot foot flared on and off. AND I have a new shoulder pain in aero position. How is that even possible? I know my fit was tweaked about 3 weeks ago, but gosh it has caused so much trouble.

I gutted my way around the loop, grimacing and counting down the miles. On the "big hill" on Andrews, I met another tri club friend who saw my jersey and we cheered each other upwards. That hill is not nearly as scary as everyone says it is, yet every time I've ridden it, people are walking their bikes up it. No judgement - do what you gotta do! But it's only like 1/10 of a mile long.

Finally finishing the loop and heading back into town I had a few miles where I sort of enjoyed things. This road is super smooth, downhill and if there is a breeze it's at your back (not much wind to speak of though). You go pretty fast, and it's just a fun stretch. But then when you get back in town the roads are really rough and you just keep thinking you should be there by now - yet there are still 5-6 miles left to go. This particular last stretch was pretty bad for me mentally. Between my knee, my hot foot, my shoulder, the rough roads, etc. - I just wanted to stop and go to bed.

But, somehow I finally rolled into transition and could put my feet on the ground. Glorious.
What would you do differently?:

I would have not had so many changes made to my bike and bike fit 3 weeks ago. I was trying to solve for my debilitating hot foot issue, but in turn I caused more issues to the point where I realized there is no way I can do 112 miles in this condition. I'm out of time to do more bike tweaks, and I may have already injured myself.
Transition 2
  • 09m 28s
Comments:

Shoes were immediately off and in my hands as I walked to my rack spot. Another tampon change in the porta potty, then got ready for the run. Forgot to throw my Honey Stinger chews in my pocket.
Run
  • 3h 16m 13s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 59s  min/mile
Comments:

Stopped at the sunscreen table and a volunteer AGGRESSIVELY coated my arms, shoulders, neck, etc. with the thickest layer (to the point where I couldn't get it off in the shower that night!). This bitch will not be sunburned though!

Tested out a little jog and my knee did not hurt running - it's solely an issue on the bike. Did a good little run/walk for the first 3 miles, absolutely baking in the sun. The predicted rain never materialized, but boy everyone was wishing it did on the run. Looks like the temps hit 90 degrees so you can imagine how miserable it was.

Just after running through the hot corner where the tri club was set up (OMG! The energy! I love them so much!!), I was walking next to a guy who ended up being my buddy for the next 5 miles. We would run here and there but mostly walking. It was just so painful between my pounding headache, inability to get enough nutrition, the sun baking my skin, my feet in pain every step, etc. So while I think I could have run a tiny bit more overall, the walking was fine with me since I had someone to talk to. I was alternating Gatorade and Coke, drank SO MUCH WATER, and managed to eat 2 gels. Which wasn't enough, but my stomach is always iffy and nauseous on the run.

I left my buddy around mile 11.5-12 to see if I could run some of the last stretch. It was painful and not fun. I kept thinking, why am I doing this? Why?

At the end, I crossed the finish line and sat in the shade and cried. A lot. I had all but decided to withdraw from IM Des Moines at this point, and I was sad. And exhausted. And came to the realization it might be time to hang up my triathlon shoes for good.
Post race
Warm down:

I found a real Coke in the athlete food tent and drank it in the shade before packing up my gear and getting it to the car. Drove back to the AirBnB, walked to a pizza place where I ordered 2 gluten free pizzas (one for the next day) and texted my sister. Called my parents. Had the conversations I needed to have to come to terms with not doing the Ironman in 3 weeks.

I'm extremely sensitive to the fact that everyone already made travel plans. But my family was so gracious and sweet. They insisted I not worry about that and just focus on my health so I don't end up doing permanent damage. I cried on the phone to my parents and they gave me so much comfort and love - it made my decision so much easier. I laid down that night content with this being my last race for a long time. I'm ready to move on.

Event comments:

Fast swim, beautiful bike course, always a hot run! A favorite course of mine for sure.




Last updated: 2022-01-31 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:38:03 | 2518 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit:
Course:
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: High
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 10:39
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
03:49:46 | 56.66 miles | 14.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Wind: None
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 09:28
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
03:16:13 | 13.1 miles | 14m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course:
Keeping cool Bad Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2022-05-23 2:09 PM

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3


2022-05-23 2:38 PM
in reply to: #5281160

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

I am so sorry to hear about your knee issues. I think that all any of us want is to be pain free. I mean, yeah, we want to be faster or whatever but ultimately, we want to be pain free and active for the long haul. {{hugs}}

2022-05-24 9:17 AM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Master
4083
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Toronto
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Well done, Lisa - what a roller coaster of a day for you! I am so sorry to hear you were in plan but you seem to have had some hard conversations with yourself but also stayed pretty positive and took the good where you could! Enjoying the cheering and tri club friends. Way to make the best of it, get it done but be smart about what you needed to do. 

2022-05-24 11:42 AM
in reply to: #5281160

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Champion
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Whizzzzzlandia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

Happy to be your menstrual consultant.  

 

2022-05-24 1:04 PM
in reply to: #5281160

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Veteran
415
100100100100
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga 70.3

I was so concerned worrying about you blowing away in a thunderstorm that I didn't think to worry about you baking in the sun. So proud of you for pushing through, but also following your heart on the IM Des Moines withdrawal. 

Maybe a shortish trail race out West is in your future??? (Wink, wink)

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