In September of last year, about 80 of my Infinite Multisport team members signed up for this race... peer pressure is a real thing. As a teacher, an early season half is difficult to 1)Train for and 2) Plan around. But... On September 15th, I pulled the trigger
For the next several months, I trained for this race - focusing on my run training with a couple of half marathons thrown in to keep my "interested."
I did have a teammate share a ride and a room with me. It was great to have Tara to share the long drive with. Since I could only take one day off of work, I chose to take the Monday after the race off to drive home. We were finally able to leave on Friday at about 3:30. Stopping in Lexington for a brief sleep, we got into Chattanooga on Saturday at about 11am. Of our long list of things to accomplish, we did everything except for swim.
We were pretty happy to have so many teammates there! From team pictures, to team dinners, to just having familiar faces on the course. It was awesome to share this experience with so many bees :-)
When we woke on race day, the weather was perfect! Not a cloud in the sky! I had read on another blog, that it was smart to get into the swim line early. So we set our alarms for 3:30 and got out of the door by 4am. My goals were set: Rockstar = 6:00, Super Happy = 6:10, Happy = 6:30.
This paid off, because we were probably within the first 100 athletes in line to start the swim.
Swim - 1.2 mi - 33:08 - 32/170 Age Group - 194/764 Gender - 720/2168 overall - This was a time trial start, so once you jumped in it was go time. We swam into the current for the first 350m. Since it was close to shore, I did not feel the affects of the current to bad, though. You can see from my pace tracked by the Garmin that the pace picked up after the first turn though. I am very proud of this swim, even with the help of the current :-)
Bike 56mi - 3:04:27 - 18.22 mph 46/170 Age Group - 247/764 Gender - 1075/2168 overall - This was a challenging course with a couple of big hills, but nothing compared to Lake Placid. An early spot in line helped me for this bike in a couple of ways. 1) Less debris on the course 2) Less people on the course 3) Earlier finish time meant less headwinds as the winds picked up more and more as the day continued. I was doing great until I got those winds smack in the face. I even got off my bike at about mile 45 to see if there was a mechanical issue with my bike... nope, just getting my butt kicked by the winds.
Run - 13.1 miles - 2:25:42 - 11:07 min/mi - 61/170 Age Group - 306/764 Gender - 1170/2168 overall - Yuck... This run was hard. Hot, hilly, and I cramped up bad... for the first time ever. I walked way more than I wanted to, but truly could not have done more. It was not my day for running. This bums me out, because the winter was all about the run. So, I will do better next time with the information I gathered from this run. I will use salt for these hot runs. I will hydrate better on the bike. I will get redemption for this run. Other than the hills... the run course is pretty. Lots of views of the river and some nice running through a park. I was very happy to see Swim Bike Mom, Meredith Atwood in the first mile of the run and I was very happy to see that finish line after the gruesome run.