Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon 2006

I have yet to get all my vacation picture together, so I'll post those soon; but for now I'm gonna go ahead and give the race report from my FIRST OLYMPIC DISTANCE TRI! I was pretty excited about getting this one under my belt, even though I had been on vacation all week at the beach and hadn't done a whole lot to keep myself sharp. But oh well, I just figured I'd do the best I could and see what happened.

Michele and I had agreed to drive down to Chattanooga the day before and stay all night since the trip would include changing time zones and such. I might can get out of bed at 5 a.m. fairly regularly, but don't ask me to get up at 3 a.m. and then do my first Olympic Dist Tri. So we got to the packet pickup just in time before they were shutting down, and headed on over to the Hilton where we had reserved a room at a ridiculous rate (it was all that was available). I went inside to check in, and they tell me they have overbooked and our room wasn't available. I was about to get upset, but they said they had reserved a room just one block down at the Clarion and they would pay for it, I shut my mouth and said "I'll take it." I love getting a good deal!!!
So anyways, we had dinner at the Bluewater Grill (it was wonderful, by the way) and turned in for the night (at our free hotel room - woo hoo!).

The alarm rang at 5 a.m. the next morning. I got up and showered and got all my stuff ready. We took our bikes down and rode to the race site. I loved that, by the way...no parking hassles and I got to use my new cool back pack to carry all my stuff in. It was very crowded at the transition area. This is, by far, the largest triathlon I have ever done. There were almost 1,000 participants. I was really loving the atmosphere, but we had to get our transition set up quickly because our bus to the swim start left at 6:25. We boarded and were there in no time. There was alot of waiting around, but being that my number was 212 (and Michele was 220), we got started pretty fast. It was an interval start, and I was off. I felt really good in the water. I got into a rhythm fairly quickly. However, I guess I was so into my rhythm I didn't pay well enough attention to where I was going and ended up going under one of the bridges on the wrong side. I realized it about the time I got there, and tried to swim back around to the right side, but it was no use - the current wouldn't let me...it pushed me on through the other way. I worried for a minute that I might be disqualified, but figured there was no use in worrying about that at this point, so I swam on. I got back on course shortly, and finished the 1.5k swim in 25:07. Keep in mind, that was with a nice little current at my back.

Volunteers were pulling us all out of the water, and we ran up a bunch of step to get to T1. There were lots of people cheering and encouraging everyone - I was pumped! Michele was already there when I got there, and I gave yelled "Nice swim!!" to her and got down to business. I got in and out of transition in 1:29.

I took off on the bike and felt great. Lots of people cheering again. I wasn't very sure how to handle this ride, since it(40k) was longer than I have done in a race before, and since I would be running 6.2 miles afterwards instead of the normal 3 - 4 miles I have been doing in the sprint tris. But I decided to just hard and solid and see what happened. It was mostly flat with a couple hills, and I didn't have much of a problem. I was a little upset with myself for forgetting my hammer gel in T1, but I just drank Gatorade on the bike instead of water. I figured that would be fine, and it was. I finished the bike leg in 1:16:24. I'm not disappointed with that, but I want to cut that down atleast 4 minutes by next year.

I dismounted my bike and as I pushed it into T2 I hear "GO LANA!! WHOO HOO! GOOD JOB LANA!!" I turn around and see that my mom and dad have made the trip! I wasn't really expecting that!! So they continue to cheer for me as I run out, and I see my Dad snapping pics. About a quarter of a mile into the run there were steps, and more steps and even more steps. Whew! And when I got to the top of the steps there was a short steep hill. Ouch. I felt sorta zapped upon reaching the top of that hill, and just paced myself through the next few miles. It was hot. I drank Power Aide at every water stop, and I have to admit that I struggled. On one of the last hills before the end of the run, I opted for walking it - which almost never let myself do - but I had to decide if I wanted to walk the hill and then finish strong, or run the hill and be zapped at the end, and I decided to walk the hill. (Next year - I will run the hill AND finish strong.) So after walking the hill, I said that's it - you've got a half mile to go - get your butt across the finish line. I gave it all I had until the end, passed everyone I could, and finished the run in a disappointing 55:47. I really wanted to do that run in around 52 minutes.

Official Race Finishing Time: 2:40:38

16th in my age group out of 45 30 - 34 year old women, and 387th out of 888 overall participants.

My goal was somewhere between 2:30 and 2:40, so I came up just short. But oh how many lessons I learned - one of them being that I have much more work to do! Michele and I hung around for the post race party, we each won a door prize, then headed on back home.

My Dad, Me, and My Mom after I finished

Stuffing my face with an orange!


Michele said...

congrats on a great race.

I think that considering the heat, step and hills you had an awesome run. Next year will will beat that hill!!!!

I love that picture of you running.

Cliff said...


That's a great race. Must be great to have your parents cheering u on.

I will never walk to the finish line (maybe except IM). I figure if it is only a few km left, might as well run it in.

LeahC said...

great race!

i absolutly love that your parents come out to all your races and your dad is your photographer. My dad and step mom do the same thing and I love it!

Unknown said...

Awesome job! You did it and should be proud!

Brooke said...

What a great race.
So glad that you didn't get DQ'd for the swim.
Your pictures are awesome too. I always feel motivated after I see your shots because you are so fit!!
I know you work hard for it though, and you deserve it!!

:) said...

You did a great job! Congratulations.
Keep up the hard work...

walchka said...

Congrats on finishing your first Oly. distance tri. By all accounts you had a great race and you should be very proud with a finish like that. Keep up all the good work!

Anonymous said...

we are honored to be there when you compete, lana; your story from junior high school is one of the greatest turnaround stories in modern sports history. sorry we overslept friday night; we ran out of gas on the bike before we got to glenn's, but we put 'er on reserve and kept coming.

Lance Notstrong said...

I love the pics :-) Sounds like an awesome race!!! 16th out of 45 isn't too bad at all for your first race at that distance.

Rice said...

Well look at that, my computer cooperated enough for me to read the entire report today. I was having a really hard time with it yesterday.

Great race! There’s nothing like getting that first one under your belt. That’s my goal for next season once I get my marathon goals out of the way, to run as many tri’s as I can just for experience then the next season worry about how fast I can do them.

Great photos from the beach, it looks like a great time.



Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on racing well for your first OLY distance tri!! And to swim 1.5K in 25:07 with the little detour was excellent!
Also it's nice to have a crowd cheering you on.

soozey said...

Congrats! I really like reading your RR. It's interesting to bounce back and forthe between your friend Michelle's and your blog and read two RR on the same race. Great work!