Tag amino vital

chattanooga waterfront triathlon

i’m really not much of a tri person, but with a big race coming to downtown chattanooga, and with the vixens having a big role in helping outdoor chattanooga with it, how could i say no? this would be only my second triathlon ever; the first being the Gulf Coast Half Ironman i did with Team in Training in May’05. and that really was a whole ‘nother ballgame. the waterfront triathlon is an olympic distance event: 1.5k swim, 40km bike, 10k run. speed was much more of a factor in a shorter event like this… although perseverance does still play a role.

the day before the event, i volunteered for a bit at the vixen tent, then went home and cleaned & cooked (michelle and i had a big party over here after the race). as the evening wore on, i thought i’d pull out my bike for a final once over. hmmm, it’s not shifting quite. i call jeramie to pick his brain for help. i finally get one problem solved.. but create another. luckily rebecca drove by and volunteered to take my bike up to mr. hoff to get fixed. (HUGE thanks to both of them!) jeramie did note that i had a chunk of my tire missing and would surely flat. swell. i did have an extra set of tires here, so at 9pm, i am changing my first tires & tubes on a road bike. (hey, i’d have to do it sooner or later). i actually get to bed around 11:30pm, which was pretty decent.

my alarm went off around 5:15 and i crawled out of my bed around 5:30. the goal was to leave at 6 to head to the finish line, where our transition was. (from there, we had to be transported a short distance to the start of the swim). i was on target with my time… decided to go ahead and pump up my tires one last time. and pssssssssft! i blow one of the tubes taking the pump off the valve. now i’m getting nervous. i decide to go ahead and drive to the start and change my tube there. luckily my second ever tube change went smoothly, and i had plenty of time to get things set up.

at 7, ann and i walked the mile to the start at the UTC Boat Ramp. swimmers would be released one at a time every 3 seconds – MUCH nicer than a mass start that is mass chaos. however, it took awhile to get to my number (and the start was delayed about 20 min too). once in the water, my friend jim was the guy releasing us, so it was nice to see a smiling face before i headed downriver. i’ve done this swim several times before, but it seemed sooooo long today. i’m not a fab swimmer and i think i expected adrenaline to kick in and help out. yeah, not so much. about halfway through, something feels funny on my ankle. i look down and see my timing band about to come off! i grab it and tread water while i wrap it on my wrist – figured i could keep an eye on it there, but it was annoying as my arm didn’t glide into the water as easily. finally, we were at the docks downtown and helpers were there snatching us out of the water. then we had some lovely concrete steps to run up to get to the transition area.

since i’m not experienced with tris, i know my transition times could have been better. however, i did take the extra minute to spray some more sunscreen on my back (as the bike leg was very exposed), and to apply some chamois butt’r. (wet bike shorts + 40k bike = not a happy body i’m sure). then, off i went! the bike leg was going to be intimidating. we would use MLK to access 27 – the main highway going north through chattanooga – and ride it all the way to 153 and back. traffic was detoured for a stretch were we entered/exited the highway. we used the inside lanes, so once we were there, traffic joined us. the TDOT did a great job with the cones and safety. since this is a rode i’m on all the time, i knew the bike would be tough. it’s 2-3 lanes in each direction with a big grassy median. there are no straight stretches; rather, long sloping ups and downs. and 100% exposed to the elements. luckily it was very overcast, which my skin is thankful for (no sunburn!) strangely, the bike wasn’t nearly as hard as i thought it was going to be. not that it was easy, but i was expecting worse. i had borrowed some aero bars from a friend, but ended up not ever getting down in them as i just wasn’t feeling comfortable enough in the open area. while speed demons rocketed past me, i did my fair share of passing too.

i felt strong finishing the bike and was looking forward to the run, even though it was on the riverwalk, which meant lots of concrete (the absolute worst!) it started with a sloping ascent that really wore on your legs quick since they were still in biking mode. once things evened out, i picked up the pace and think i held it well. the waterstops were perfectly spaced and there were several opportunities to get wet and cool down if you wanted. (cyclist friend pat was more than happy to hose us gals down!) the course was there and back, so it was fun to see friends out there suffering too :) right after mile 5 was the last hill before the descent to the finish. no biggie… short and sweet. but, not quite today. i had this weird heart palpitation (similar to what i had at the hogpen hillclimb in ’05), then my vision narrowed and i got dizzy. i started walking, hoping to shake it off. well, not today. it got a bit worse so i pulled over to a tree and held on for a few. a course marshall was by my side quick to check up on me, but i would be fine. i stayed still for about a minute, then walked for another. feeling better, i started jogging, then was able to sprint it in to the finish (passing an age grouper on the way!) however, my finishing picture does look pretty horrid :)

in all, i had fun (because i always do), but definitely still prefer the dirt to the road. and to be honest, this race just cost too much. I could sign up for a 12hr AR for what is cost for 3hrs of fun here. but the experience was great – downtown chatt is a great place for a race.

the stats:
age group finish: 20th (out of 55)
swim: 0:32:25.24 pace: 02:09.7
transition 1: 0:02:34.62
bike: 1:23:00.42 pace (mph): 18.8
transition 2: 0:01:39.02
run: 0:53:45.93 pace(minutes/mile): 08:40.3
total time: 2:53:25.22

and, here are a few pics that the Times Free Press snapped – awesome shots!

Amino Vital in 2007!

I just got word that Amino Vital wants me back on the team for 2007! This will be my third year with them… and each year, it gets a bit tougher to make the cut. (I think we had 10 people in 05, 6 in 06, and it looks like 4 this year… and only 120 nationwide.) I’m glad they see Chattanooga as close enough to Atlanta to include me in the mix.

Learn more about Amino Vital here!