Monday, July 28, 2014

Two Months, today is July 28. Ironman Chattanooga is September 28th. It's officially two months away. We've also hit the single-digit week countdown - only nine more weeks to go.
    I'm a little worried about this, because I feel like I should be panicking right now, but I'm not. I don't know if I'm just worn down from all of the training or what, but I'm really not nervous about the race right now. That feeling will probably change as the date gets closer, but for now - I'm cool. According to Coach Andrew, my training is pretty much where it should be. I had possibly the two most boring long workouts ever over the weekend (five hour solo bike ride and two hour run on a treadmill with no audio for the TV), and you know what? They didn't kill me and, shockingly, actually weren't so bad. Even the treadmill run wasn't THAT bad. Tedious, yes, but I never felt like I couldn't complete it.
   I guess my body has just adapted to the new level of training that I'm throwing at it. My workload progression has been gradual and my workouts have been consistent. They might not always be the best workouts, but I get them done. I maybe have missed three workouts since Ironman training started four months ago. Consistency is key, people.
   I'm excited to see where the next two months take me. I have training camp in Chattanooga this weekend, which will be interesting. Three days of non-stop swimming, biking and running. I'm thinking that if I can survive that - the actual race will be a cakewalk!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Random Thoughts from a Delirious Cyclist

   Today I had a five hour bike ride on the schedule.  Five hours. That's a long freakin' bike ride. Do you know what you can do in five hours?  You can drive from Nashville to St. Louis, for one. Or from Washington, DC to New York City.  Or fly from LA to Hawaii. Or watch your favorite movie - twice. You get my point. A five hour ride is a L-O-N-G time.
    To make matters worse, I rode it alone. Actually, I shouldn't say "worse," as I don't really mind riding alone. I love riding with friends, but I'm perfectly fine going solo. A long ride is a great time to reflect on what's going on in the world. The kicker is that I can only reflect for so long - an hour at the most. Then my mind starts wandering and I begin thinking about some really crazy things. Here's a sampling:

   "What IS that? Is that a groundhog? A badger? Wait - that's an armadillo! I've never seen a live armadillo before. How cute! I kind of want to pet him. Can you pet an armadillo? Wow - he's FAST. I didn't know armadillos were so fast. If they're so fast, why are they always dead on the side of the road?"  
   "I haven't seen anyone in a while. Where is everyone? I thought I'd see more people out here."
   "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt! His name is my name, too (three, four, five). Whenever we go out  ...the people always shout...there goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt! Fa la la la la la la!! That's a weird song. I wonder where that song came from. I need to google that when I get home. Hmm. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt..."
   "My new wheels are like sails. If it's windy in Chattanooga, I'm screwed."
   "Why is there always so much animal poop on the Trace? These animals live in the wilderness! Why do they come out to the road to poop? My dogs go to the grass to poop. And what kind of poop is that? That's so weird."
   "I hope there's not a rapist in the rest area."
   "Surely that vulture is going to move out of the road. Move Mr. Vulture...I'm not going to take your road kill. Please move.... Ok, I'll go around you."
   (In my best Celine Dion) "ALL BY MYSELF! I'm gonna be ALL BY MYSELF for a while."
   "WHY haven't I seen anyone? Is that Kim? Kim wears pink. Maybe that's Kim. Nope - not Kim."
   (When pulling into the rest area) "Oh great. Scary motorcycle guys pulling in behind me."
   (When leaving rest area) "I meet the nicest people at Trace rest areas."
   "Oh there's Schwanny! Hey Schwanny!"  
   "If you could do an x-ray of the grass next to the road, I wonder how many bugs there would be? I bet it would freak me out to know how many bugs there are in that patch of grass."
   "I think my thighs are too big for this saddle."
   "And when we say...Yeeow! A-yip-aye-yo-ee-ay!! We're only sayin' You're doing fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma! O.K.L.A.H.O.M.A!"
   "I wonder what ever happened to my middle school choral teacher, Mr. Houff?"
   "Only two hours left. Good Lord- how did I get to a point in my life where I'm happy that I "only" have two hours left in a bike ride. What am I doing out here?"
   You get the idea. Lots of randomness. Lots of singing. You have to do something to pass the time. The good news is that, while it got hot at the end, the ride really wasn't that bad. I suffered worse during a three-and-a-half hour ride a few weeks ago. I guess I'm getting used to all of this training. Which is good because I only have about nine weeks before Chattanooga!!  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

One Week Later

   It's been a week since my epic meltdown in Concord Park during my tempo run. Good news - I've bounced back this week and am feeling much better. In fact, I had two strong back-to-back runs so my confidence is bit better now. Granted, a big part of my success was due to weather. We've had AMAZING weather in Nashville this past week with temps in the 70's rather than the standard July temps of the upper 90's. It's been glorious.
   I also have been trying out some new nutrition this week - Infinit. Until this week, I've been using nuun and Skratch Labs for hydration and Honey Stinger waffles / gels for calories. I've been happy with everything I've been using, but I'm trying to get away from having to unwrap / open anything, so I'm trying new things. I bought two Infinit products: one of their standard products - Napalm - for running and a custom nutrition blend for the bike. I haven't had the chance to try to nutrition on the bike yet, but I have used the Napalm a few times now. As the name implies, it has caffeine in it. Some advice for anyone interested in this product - READ THE DIRECTIONS. I didn't and kind of OD'ed on the stuff the first time I tried it. How? Well, Infinit sends Napalm as a kit - you get a powder and a flask. To make it, you fill the flask with the powder and add water. Easy enough, right? And it is - unless you assume that one flask was one serving - WHICH WOULD BE WRONG! One flask has THREE servings. Since I neglected to read the directions, I downed my flask on my way to my run Thursday night, which was no easy task because the stuff is pretty strong.

It says 2 oz. for optimal performance, not 6 oz!

   The good news is that my run was great. My legs felt great and it hit my times. The bad news is that downing a flask of Infinit Napalm on an empty stomach really didn't work out too well. But THAT'S how good my run was. I felt nauseated the entire run, and it STILL ended up being one of the best runs I've had in a long time. I absolutely don't blame the Napalm for the nausea - that was totally my fault. I've used it since with the proper dosage and it's worked great. Unfortunately, I was also up until about 2:00 am that night because of the caffeine, but it was a small price to pay for a good run.

That one felt good.

TEN more weeks to Ironman Chattanooga!!  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So, There IS Crying in Ironman Not such a good training day for me. In fact, I had a complete meltdown in the middle of Concord Park. Why? Because I can't run as fast as I want.
   Let me give you a little back story - I have a long history of getting frustrated with my running. While I have made some improvements, it's still my athletic nemesis. I'm not a natural runner - I'm not lean and I have short, stocky legs. I also didn't start running until five years ago. Until I started training with FTP, I had no idea that running was more than just moving your legs - that you actually needed to have some form, as well. And though I now know about form, it's been a challenge to incorporate this form into my running. Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don't. Sometimes it's easier (it's never easy), and sometimes it's really, really hard. And it gets frustrating because I feel like I'm doing the same things that the fast people are doing, and yet, I'm not going as fast. That frustration builds up over time until I get to a day like today, when it all just falls apart.'s the story. According to my training schedule, I was supposed to run a 10 mile run today with alternating paces - some easy and some at tempo, with the tempo being about a 9-minute mile. I know for a lot of people, a 9-minute mile isn't that fast, but that's a pretty good clip for me.
   I started my run today a little after 7:00 am, and it was already almost 80 degrees. Ugh. Fortunately, most of Concord Park is in the shade, which helped a lot. I knew my legs would be tired from yesterday's 75 mile ride but I also knew from experience that they would loosen up after a couple of miles. So, I started running, and my legs were a little more tired that I expected. They didn't hurt, but I was struggling just to make my "easy" pace. However, I was able to speed up a little bit until I hit my pace, and held it until I was supposed to move to my tempo pace.
   This is where things took an ugly turn. I started running faster and I think I'm crushing it because I'm working really hard. But when I looked down at my watch, I was only doing 9:20 miles. What? I feel like I'm sprinting and I'm only going 9:20?  How is that possible? So, I keep running and I'm really hurting now... but when I look down again, I'm at 10:00. How am I going SLOWER?! And I just lost it. I slowed down as tears came to my eyes. All sorts of negative thoughts came rushing into my head, with the main one being that I have no business training for an Ironman because an Ironman should be able to run a 9-minute mile in their sleep.
   I walked over to a bench to collect myself and after a minute or two, I pulled myself together enough to start running again. I'm REALLY trying to push it now. I mean, I KNOW I can run a 9-minute mile. My 5K PR is lower than that, and that was on a hilly course!! All of the horrible speed tests I do for Coach Andrew state I should be able to do this. I CAN DO this... Except I didn't. I looked at my pace after about a half-mile and I'm not even close. And I lost it again. And again, the negative thoughts popped in my head... "I suck." "I shouldn't be out here." "I'm a freakin' joke." Thank Goodness no one was near me because I know they would have thought I was crazy. And they wouldn't be wrong - what grown woman cries in a park because she can't run a 9-minute mile? Well, apparently, this one.
   But - I pulled myself AGAIN and started running. And this time I'm hitting my times. I'm running about 8:45 miles. HAZZAH. Except this time, I'm having thoughts like "You can't keep up this pace" and "You're never going to make it to the end." And I started thinking about how far I had to go until I could slow down and it just seemed SO FAR.
   Any guess as to what happened next? As much as I'd love to say that I conquered my inner demons and nailed the rest of the run, that's not what happened. I completely convinced myself that I wasn't going to make it to the end - and I didn't. I started walking. And crying, though not as badly as before. Thankfully, I had sunglasses on because I was on the main path now and there were people around.
   I slowly walked the 1.5 miles back to the car. I was too deflated to try to run again. I tried to figure out what exactly went wrong. It wasn't nutrition / hydration - I actually felt pretty good in that regard. My legs were definitely tired from yesterday - that could have been it, though I've run faster directly off the bike in the past. I also debated on what to do with the workout. At first, I decided I was going to go home, take a nap, and finish up the miles on the treadmill. I also toyed with the idea of just trying the entire run again tomorrow. By the time I got to the car, I still wasn't sure what I was going to do. But then, I decided that no matter how tired and defeated I was, going home was only going to make me feel worse. So...I refilled my water bottle, had a Gu and started running again.
   I had a little less than five miles left. Unfortunately, it was about 90 degrees by now and some of the shade had gone. Rather than trying to hit any particular pace, I just ran to get it done. With the exception of one stupid hill towards the end that I didn't even attempt to run up, I ran the entire distance.  Considering all that I went through this morning, I considered that a victory.
   Now that it's a few hours later, I know that I was WAY too hard on myself today. I know I have as much right to be training for an Ironman as anyone else. I also know that my running troubles are mostly mental, rather than physical. I'm fit enough to run faster, I just need to get my head around that I can. It's an ongoing struggle. But no one said Ironman (or running) was easy. As for today - I survived and live to fight another day. Which starts tomorrow morning.
   See you on the roads!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sports and Selfies

   It's July - my favorite month of the year. Why? Because it's Tour de France time! I love the Tour. I can sit for HOURS watching those guys ride. I love the bikes, the drama, the suffering, and the quaint little villages that litter the French countryside - I love it all. However, my love of the Tour isn't the focus of this post. No, the subject of this post has long been one of my pet peeves, but has now just become an issue at the Tour - people taking selfies / photos at stupid moments.
   One of the beautiful things about a bike race is that the course is open to the public. No tickets necessary. Anyone can go down and watch the riders go by. Unfortunately, unless you go to a lot of bike races, you really don't have a concept of how fast these guys are going. Dudley and I went to the Tour of California a few years ago, and I was shocked at how fast Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer FLEW by me. And they were CLOSE, too. Only about a foot away, maybe two.
   So, now imagine a pack of 197 riders barreling down a road at 40k / hour, when all of a sudden, some guy runs out into the road, turns his back to the riders and takes a selfie. Don't think anyone would be that stupid? Well, they are. And the riders in the Tour are mad about it.
   And they have every right to be. It's DANGEROUS - to the riders and the spectators. In yesterday's stage, a spectator stepped into the road to take a photo and was hit by Team Sky rider David Garcia Lopez. Though Lopez didn't go down, the spectator did. This caused a chain-reaction of other crashes that involved several riders, including former TdF winner Andy Schleck. Unfortunately, Schleck's knee was too damaged to go on. Today, he pulled out of the Tour entirely. Still think that photo is worth it?
   This trend of stupid photo taking in running has been going on for a while. I first noticed it a few years ago at the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville. I was running along in the middle of the race course, when suddenly the person in front of me stopped, pulled out their phone and took a photo. This happened several times by different people. Sometimes it'd be a selfie, sometimes it'd be a photo of something scenic along the road. It was worse at the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC last year. Women would just randomly stop in the middle of the road to take a photo of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, or whatever. Sometimes, there would be two or three people suddenly stopping and they'd take a group selfie. 
   This might seem like something that is really no big deal, right? So what if a person wants to take a selfie during a running race? He's not hurting anyone, right? Well, see, that's where you're wrong. Have you ever followed someone who is trying to take a photo while running? They don't run in a straight line - they weave all around. It would be very easy to run into someone who isn't paying attention to where they are going. And while I was fortunate to not run into the people who suddenly stopped in front of me, people at the 2013 Hong Kong marathon weren't so lucky. According to Time magazine, "the race saw an influx of injuries this year due to runners stopping to take self-portraits and causing a pile-up that resulted in battered and bruised participants." 
   I totally get why people want to take photos during a race. Races are fun and they are a huge accomplishment. Heck, though I generally don't carry my camera when I run, I have taken a few photos during races before. The difference is though, I move off the course before doing it. 
   So please, if you want to take a photo, feel free. Just don't be stupid about it. Please be aware of the other participants and move off the course. 
   See you on the roads! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

You Don't Get Holidays In Ironman

    I don't know about you, but for me, holidays generally mean spending time with family, eating good food and all-around slacking. There is also a high-possibility of sleeping in and/or napping. But you know what? Ironman sucks the fun out of holidays.
   Why? Because instead of doing any of the above, I took part in what was the longest training block I've had to date. I pretty much train everyday, but due to my full time job, my long workouts are relegated to the weekends. However, because of the Fourth of July, I had an extra day off of work - an extra day that Coach Andrew took full advantage of by scheduling a long swim Thursday night and an additional brick workout on Friday. These workouts then led into my regular long workouts on Saturday (ride) and Sunday (run).
   I know that these workouts will make me stronger, both mentally and physically. But honestly, when I first saw this training block on my schedule, I wasn't sure how well it was going to work out. It was a little overwhelming to see tough workouts back-to-back-to-back-to-back. But you know what? It wasn't that bad. The workouts in and of themselves weren't that "hard." A little long - but not that hard.  However, the cumulative effect of the past four days has made me a little tired. Specifically, my legs are tired. In fact, my legs are pretty much hating me right now. They don't hurt, but they really don't want to do anything tonight other than sit on the sofa and watch the Tour de France.
   The good news is that tomorrow is a rest day. Oh, blessed rest day - how I love you. Just for tomorrow, I'm going pretend that I'm not going to be lining up for IMCHOO in 83 days (Yikes!)
   See you on the roads!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Chattanooga Olympic Triathlon Race Report

   This past Sunday was the Chattanooga Waterfront Olympic Triathlon. Though I don't have the best history with this race (in 2011, I panicked in the water and I fell in 2012), I decided to do it as a preparation for IMCHOO.

Hello 'Nooga!  

   Dudley and I headed out Friday night for Chattanooga. The race wasn't until Sunday, however, Coach Andrew wanted everyone who was doing IMCHOO to do one lap of the bike course on Saturday morning. Yes, this would pretty much mean that we all would be sacrificing our races on Sunday, because who can race well after riding 60+ miles the day prior? But it's a sacrifice that was easily made since our larger goal is Ironman. This weekend would just be another stepping stone toward that goal.
   The ride started at 8:30AM, so I took my bike out for a little spin prior to test my race wheels and new brakes. I do most of my bike training on an indoor trainer, so I really haven't had the opportunity to ride on my awesome new wheels that much.

Is that a hot bike or what?

   Kicker is that 1) the gearing on the wheels is different and my chain was jumping around a lot and 2) carbon fiber wheels don't really want to stop. Seriously - you apply the brakes and it takes a while for them to kick in. Add some water to it (it had rained that morning), and you have brakes that REALLY don't work. So, right when we were supposed to be leaving to meet the group, Dudley was frantically changing my wheels and brake pads back to my previous set up. This meant I was going to be late for the group ride. Yes, I was going to be "that" girl - the one everyone has to wait on. I HATE being "that" girl.
   Fortunately, Dudley was able to put my bike back together quickly, and I was only a few minutes late meeting the group (who were kind enough to wait on me). Before we took off though, I made everyone pose for a photo with a poster I made in support of the two FTP athletes who were racing Ironman Coeur d'Alene that day, one of whom was my good friend Kathy (who did AWESOME).

Go FTP!  

   The day was a little overcast when we finally departed, which was nice. Chattanooga can get beastly hot in July. The ride was pretty uneventful. This was my second time on the IMCHAT bike course. It was hillier than I remembered, but it's still easier than the Trace, so I'll take that any day. Oh, and we saw cows.

I didn't Moo at them, though I wanted to.

      After the ride, Dudley and I got something to eat and headed downtown for packet pickup. The Waterfront Triathlon has a great setup in that everything is centrally located in downtown Chattanooga. If you have a hotel downtown, which we did, you can walk everywhere. It makes for a stress-free race experience. It's great.

Expo tents
Finish line!  

   One of the vendors at the Expo was this company called "Podium Legs," which is an air compression massager for your legs. There's a science behind all of what goes on with air compression massage, but long story short - your legs are supposed to recover faster if you use the product, and therefore you can train / race better the next day.  Since Podium Legs was giving away a free massage, Dudley and I headed over there to check it out.

Puffy, orange legs are so attractive.

Dudley kicking back in the Podium Legs.

   I've never used air compression prior to this, but let me tell you, these things are no joke. They have some serious compression. For the demonstration, the vendor only had XL leg sleeves, which is fine if you're tall. However, I have short legs. My toes were nowhere near the end of the sleeves and they were CRUNCHED by these things. I was a little scared they were going to break at firs - that's how tight these things got around your legs. Then the compression would move up and down your legs. Considering I only had a 15-minute demonstration, I have no idea if they actually work, however, I have a friend who bought a set. I'll check back with him in about a month to see if they help.
   We were pretty beat after the expo, so we headed back to the hotel for a quick nap before dinner.  I love traveling to places you've been before because napping in the middle of the day is OK. If this had been a city we'd never been to, we'd been all touristy and would have to sightsee a lot more. Chattanooga though? We'll just go take a nap. No big deal.  
   After dinner, we went on a quest for ice cream. We remembered that there was a little place across the river, Clumpies, so we headed over. Apparently, everyone in Chattanooga had the same idea, because this place was PACKED.  We probably waited 20 minutes to be served. It was good. I'm not sure it was 20 minutes in line good, but it was good.

Longest line for ice cream ever.

   The next morning was race day. I got up at 4:30, did some stretching and tried to wake up a little bit. I still needed to rack my bike and set up my transition area. The plan was to get down there around 5:30 and then get on the bus to the starting line around 6:00.  

Race Day!

   The actual race didn't start until 7:30, so I just hung out with a few other athletes and tried to remain calm. I had no idea how this race was going to go down, especially since I had no taper and a big ride the day before. Coach Andrew told me that my race was going to be hard, and to not expect a great result, but I still wanted to do well. It's hard to just turn off that competitive side and just cruise in a race. 

   Chattanooga is a downriver swim with the current. Probably one of the "easiest" swims (if open water swimming is ever easy) I've done. I purposefully tried to stick closer to the buoys this race, since the current is stronger out there. Honestly, I didn't feel a difference, and I actually went off course for a while. I veer right when I swim (something I'm working on), and one time I looked up and I didn't see a buoy - AT ALL. So, I kept swimming a bit more and still no buoy. I then looked over to the left, and there were all the buoys. Yes, I was pretty much swimming in the middle of the river, which is NOT where you're supposed to be since boats are out there. I'm assuming one of the support crew would have eventually caught me and directed me back over, but I didn't see anyone near me at the time. Unfortunately, my little diversion added about 150 meters to my swim. Oops. 

Just finished running up the stairs after coming out of the water.
Yes, there are stairs on the course.

I look so happy when I'm racing.

   When I sign up for this race, I wish someone would remind me that this is one of the hardest Olympic bike courses out there. It's not that it's just hilly, but the hills go on FOREVER. And since the course is on a highway, you can see WAY up the course. You can look ahead and see people STILL CLIMBING. It kind of sucks the life out of you. But what are you going to do? Just gotta deal with it and ride. 
   It was up that first hill that I felt yesterday's ride come back to bite me. My legs really didn't feel all that tired at all until that first hill. And then it hit. I just didn't have any power to get up those hills. I was remembering back to when I last raced Waterfront (2012), and my bike experience then was so much better. Last time I was making up songs as I was riding along - just having a good old time. Sunday was just a survival slog to the finish. I didn't even really get to enjoy the big downhill back into town since there was construction going on. I just didn't feel like it was safe to bomb down the hill at 40+ mph with uneven pavement and cars flying by next to you. Granted, it didn't seem to bother other people, so I guess I'm just a wuss. 
   One part I haven't really discussed much is the mount and dismounting of the bike. Professionals and other really fast people do a thing called a "flying mount." This is when they put their shoes on their bikes before the race. Then, when their bike leg starts, they run barefoot with their bikes and jump on to their bikes while they are still running. It's really cool to watch and something that I'd like to learn, but that I'm pretty sure I'd break my neck if I ever attempted it. So instead, I do the following: Run awkwardly in cleats to the mount line (the guy holding the flag in the photos below is where the mount line is), stop and get on my bike, clip in and then ride away. 

Coming out of transition.

Why won't my foot clip in?!  

Away I go!

Dismounting is a similar action, but in reverse. 

Coming in for a landing.
Must stop soon...

Made it with two feet to spare.

Turning my Garmin off with my mouth.  

   It really would be a lot more efficient if I learned the flying mount and dismount. Not that it would make any difference at all with my Ironman, but I would just look so much cooler.

   I was really hoping to have a decent run. While I didn't know my exact times for the swim and bike, I felt they were pretty much on par with what I did in 2012. However, I thought I'd be able to make up some time on the run, since I've really been working on my run recently. Alas, this was not to be, as the curse of Chattanooga came to bite me again. I wasn't even one mile into the run when I got a side stitch that was so bad that it was hard for me to breathe. I actually felt like I might hyperventalite. I wish I had some video of this, because I was all sorts of jacked up, running like Quasimodo and stabbing my side with my fingers in a weak attempt to make the stitch go away. Finally, I just had to walk. That was the only thing that made my side stop hurting. 

At the start of the run. Life isn't so bad right now.

   I've only had a side stitch this bad once before, and that was when Dudley and I were in New York recently. That stitch went away when I got some water, so I struggled to the first water stop and got some fluids in me. That helped a little bit, at least to the point where I could jog. From then on, I just did what I could to get to the finish. My legs were tired, but the side stitch was the main issue. If I ran too fast, it would come back. This was particularly painful, both physically and mentally, when I turned the corner for the last quarter-mile. It's all downhill, and I wanted to speed down it to the finish, but the stitch came back with a vengeance. It was really, really bad. I must have looked like I was in pain because many spectators and racers asked if I was OK. I was so mad that I was having yet ANOTHER bad Chattanooga run, that I wanted to cry. I didn't, because there's no crying in triathlon...but I wanted to.

Just past the finish. I'm not very happy and in pain.

   It took a minute or two to gather myself at the finish. My side still hurt and it had gotten really hot. Fortunately, Team Magic had kiddie pools filled with ice water waiting for us at the finish. They were glorious.

So cold, but so good.

   When looking back at my race, I'm 99% sure that the stitches had to do with the humidity and dehydration (It was also very humid in NYC when I last got side stitches). I know I drank a lot on the bike, but I possibly didn't have enough fluid considering I was probably depleted from the ride from the day before. I'm also thinking that my sodium might have been low. Whatever happened, I need to figure it out before Ironman. I do NOT want to experience that again.
   The good news is that, even with the side stitches, I PR'ed on this course by three minutes. And all of that came from the run, as my swim and bike ended up being almost exactly what they were in 2012. Not bad considering I didn't taper and had ridden 60 miles the day before. Team Magic / Chattanooga Tri Club also puts on one heck of a race. They are extremely well-organized and the volunteers are amazing. I hope the city embraces Ironman in the same way.

This one was earned...

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon:
Swim: 28:58 (with extra 150 meters)  
T1: 3:01 (includes run from river)
Bike: 1:28:23  
T2: 2:01
Run: 1:05:39
Total: 3:07:59
21st AG (out of 50)
152nd Female (out of 315)