I alway look forward to this race in Chattanooga because not only did I use to live near there but some of my family still do and I get to visit with them on race weekend.
My husband took the road trip with me this year and we stayed downtown near the river which was very convenient. Saturday was hot and it was supposed to rain on race day, which made me happy because I'll take rain over hot and sunny any day. At the pro meeting they let us know because of the storms there could be some changes to the race or delays but they thought the storm would pass overnight. Fortunately, it did and race morning I woke up to dry, overcast conditions.
Saturday evening we met up with my aunt, uncle and cousin for dinner. Always great getting to spend some time with family, also takes my mind off the race! :)
Race morning I arrived at the swim start early enough to get in a good warm up and stretch before we were called out to the docks. We weren't allowed to warm up until the men started which didn't give us much time in the water. I was actually not ready when the gun went off, there wasn't a countdown as there usually is and because of the current I wasn't quite to the start line. They didn't have a problem with us starting in front of the bouys this time since the current kept pushing us back!
The water temp in the river was 72 degree, we were not allowed to wear wetsuits. We had to swim up river about 400 meters, across 100 then head down the river to the swim finish. (They did cut the swim short for the age groupers cutting out the swim up river). Once I made the turn to go down river I started to pick up the pace and pass some girls. I felt great swimming and ran into transition in 8th place. It was great to see so many bikes still on our rack.
Heading out on the bike I had a few girls around me and a couple not too far ahead. I don't particularly like hilly bike courses, I know a lot of people do, I would rather sit in aero at one pace for 56 miles than go up and down and all around. I didn't look at my watch during the ride, just put in a good effort and tried to hang on until the end. Went out a little too fast and paid for it in the second half of the ride.
This bike course is very scenic. I looked out at the mountains at one point and with all the clouds lifting off the mountains it really did look like they were smoking. I took some mental pictures! I was riding alone for part of the ride which can get boring and unmotivating.
A few girls passed me within the last 15 miles and I couldn't pick up the pace. I was looking forward to the bike ride being over and onto my favorite part, the run! Oddly enough, I do like running hills and always enjoy this run course. I came off the bike in 10th place.
Onto the run my legs felt pretty good. I didn't look at my watch during the run just ran off pace and I had a pretty good idea what pace I was running. I focused on racing and keeping up with hydrating and nutrition. My goal was to be under 1:30 for the run, I ended up being a couple minutes off but I still had a decent run and overall it was a good race for me. It was 4 min faster than I've gone on this course before and 11 min faster than last year.
Each event went well and while all my goals weren't met, I was happy with the improvement and I know I will meet my goals soon enough!
I finished in 12th place, 4:35.
It was great seeing my family and husband at the finish line! Thankful to have such a supportive family.
I am very lucky to have an amazing husband who encourages me, trains with me and keeps me company on road trips to races! (did I mention he cooks dinner for me on days I come home late after working 10 hour shifts?!)
Thanks to my coach and team, Tribal Multi-sport also, my sponsors (Epixgear, Xterrawetsuits, First Endurance, Flying Fish Bikes).
Next up will be Eagleman 70.3 in Maryland, June 11th.