It is Monday afternoon and there still no results posted on the internet, so I am going to go ahead and give my race report with official times and splits pending.
J.T., the boys and myself went down to Chattanooga Saturday afternoon. We checked into our hotel and walked down to the race site. I checked in while J.T. took the boys to play on the waterfall steps. We then went to the IMAX to see Dinosaurs Alive! which, in my opinion was pretty boring, and then we met Michele at TGI Fridays for dinner. I had chicken and pasta. By the time we got back to the hotel I was in a hurry to get to the bathroom. The chicken and pasta went straight through me. I'm not sure why, because I wasn't nervous or anything. J.T. and I took the boys to the pool and let them play until 10:00 p.m., and then we all went to bed.
My wakeup call came at 4:40 a.m. I got up and ready and went to Michele's room to get my bike ready and make some coffee. About 5:25 we headed out and rode our bikes to transition. They were much more organized this year for the check-in and body marking. We ended up standing around with nothing to do but lust over all the sweet bikes. We boarded the 6:35 a.m. bus and got to the swim start. More standing around there. We used the port-a-potty when we got there, and about 30 minutes later we both needed to go back, but the line was huge. I said "No big deal, I'll just pee when I get in the lake like everyone else." When it was time to start, though, I got in the lake and they were moving us through fast....I never could make it happen.
So I took off on the swim and couldn't get into a rhythm at all. It wasn't terribly crowded, but I was worried about staying on course. At one point, I was wondering where that current was from last year, and figured it must have just been me. But I kept swimming, without pushing myself too hard, and finally made it to the dock. Looking back, that whole swim was screwed up. I never was in a rhythm, I kept changing my stroke, getting away from the buoys and then coming back, and I think I was too far under the water as well. Plus I carried about 1/2 a gallon of unwanted "number 1" all the way down that river. Side note: It didn't go on the bike ride with me though...I was able to let 'er fly as I ran through transition. I know, that's gross. When the guys pulled me out of the water, I was worried about banging my knees on the dock...so I think I was pretty heavy coming out of the water like this(LOL - poor guys!I'm in the pink.):
It was electric coming up off the dock, though. I mean tons of people packed in yelling and ringing cowbells. I spotted my dad with his camera and gave a thumbs up, and heard my mom yelling just as loud as she could. I didn't spot J.T. and the boys, but I knew they were there in all that crowd. Even running up the steps to transition, people who had no clue who I was were yelling for me. That's one thing about this race - the crowd support is unreal. Transition went smoothly. I hopped on my bike and was off. I had no clue what my swim time was because I didn't get my watch started at the start. That was probably for the best because I didn't have negative thoughts about the bad swim during the race. As it turned out, it was around 30 minutes. The bike course was totally changed this year. It consisted of several climbs. I don't mind climbing though, so I kind of liked it. I spotted a couple of people that were moving on and tried to stay with them. Me and these two guys(one was wearing a yellow and black jersey and was easy to spot) switched positions during the entire ride...and then I continued it with one of them during the run. At one point in the ride, we were going up a long hill and it got congested. I couldn't exactly pass in a few seconds, but I couldn't exactly drop back either, or I would be toast. At that point, I heard the dreaded sound of that motorcycle behind me. I still don't know if he got me for drafting or not since I haven't seen the official results yet, but I saw his passenger writing down numbers. I am certain that I was gaining no advantage at that point though. And nobody was about to drop back on that hill. Close to the end I came up upon a girl who was moving on pretty fast, but I caught her going down a hill. She was all the way to the left of the road, and I was wanting to pass. I was thinking "On your left!!!" but I yelled "On your right!!!" She didn't move. Obviously because I yelled "right" instead of left, but I was still in my own world. Again I yell "RIGHT!!!" And about the time I start getting frustrated I realize she's staying left because I'm yelling "right". So then I yell "left" and figure the girl thinks I'm crazy. And by then it's too late, she stayed in front of me the rest of the way. I can be such a tool sometimes. I saw my Dad at places I wondered how he got during this race...he was on the prowl out snapping pics!! T-2 went smoothly. And again, the atmosphere was unreal. I saw my mom and sister as I was running out. My mom was yelling to the top of her lungs again!! I wouldn't be surprised if she has lost her voice today. They were playing "Born to be Wild" as I ran out...and I guess I took it too personal because I took off like a wild woman! My first mile was sub 8, my second mile was 8:20, and then I felt a twinge around my knee. "What could be up with my knee?" I thought. And then as the twinge moved up my quad I realized it wasn't knee pain - it was a cramp. I kept going, hitting it with my fist when it got too bad, and finally stopped to stretch it after the turnaround point around mile 3. I pulled my quad up behind me, stretched it out, and then as I dropped it my hamstring cramped. I grabbed it, beat the crap of both of them, and then took back off at a much more conservative pace than before. I decided then, as my other quad was starting to cramp as well, that I had better find a pace that I could finish this race with and stick with it. The slow-down brought yellow and black jersey guy back in the race with me. He got out pretty far ahead of me, until we came to the last hill. I saw him stop and walk about halfway up it, and I said to myself "Self, you walked this hill last year. You knew it was coming this year. You run your ass up that hill no matter what it takes this year." I ran it, passing by yellow and black jersey guy. On the home stretch, he started to pass me back and said "Here I am again!" and I said "Whew - I'm gonna try to stay with you this time." He was really nice, gave me five, and we pushed each other in, gradually picking up the pace. With about 100 yds to go, I look over and see Briar...and he jumped out and ran in with me. He said "Don't slow down for me, Mom...you keep going fast! I'll stay with you!"
So I finished the race in like 2:46:39. But as we finished they announced that "if you run in with your kids you could get disqualified." I didn't realize that was a rule, but I saw lots of others doing it...so I guess other people didn't realize it as well. My name was on the preliminary results that were posted, so maybe they won't really disqualify me. We'll see.
Of course my quads and hammies began to cramp as soon I stopped. My mom met me at the end and grabbed me some more water and we massaged and walked it out until I felt better. I was disappointed with my time because it was 8 minutes slower than last year. But I am finding out that everyone was slower. I'll be glad to see some official results and get the splits.
This is me with my mom and dad. Only a mother's love would get up before the break of dawn, drive over an hour, and then run around all over this race site yelling at the top of her lungs to encourage me. And check out my dad - he's got those binoculars again!
Me with J.T., Briar and Bo. They spent their whole weekend here with me. There's nothing like having your own support crew!!
Holly and Kelly made the trip as well!! Hopefully next year they'll be in their tri-suits all sweaty and tired like me!
I'll post some splits as soon as they are out...
4 years ago