Saturday, February 17, 2018

On being crazy

Best kits ever!  @bettydesigns 
Once again I have started 5 blogs and finished 0.  All these amazing stories, rants or ramblings simply will not be published, I can't go back well I could  and finish them all.   

So we just go from today.  On being crazy, manic or something other than balanced.  How I am a Libra I don't know and don't really follow horoscopes but it is sort of amusing.

Strengths: Cooperative,diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social 
Weaknesses: Indecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge, self-pity   I am not indecisive, I seek out, okay not really, but do not avoid confrontation, I dont carry grudges and self pity- not for me. 
Libra likes: Harmony, gentleness, sharing with others, the outdoors how many think gentle when my name comes up, 0. Sure I like to share and I love the outdoors 
Libra dislikes: Violence, injustice, loudmouths, conformity um who likes violence, injustice and loudmouths?  what sign is that - conformity, not really.

Pre race fueling and maybe there was a little wine
I digress.... so I am 100% healthy!  fracture healed, no knee issues and not residual damage from my fall!  My swim is good, bike is awesome, so much so I crushed a trainer workout this week and was feeling like, well I would say Lance Armstrong, but that would be saying I was feeling like a big ass cheater and doper, I was feeling, see coming up with a professional cyclist that is clean is not easy, so lets just say I was feeling badass.  Then coach chimes in NOT with " way to kick ass and crush those watts", but with "why did you ride so hard?"  I know I know as a coach, but as an athlete more is better - right? (said no coach ever)  Reign it in.  Best reply from coach " Bike power is like a nuclear weapon: Good to have, but you use it only when you need it. "  OK so I launched it .... In any case bike is good!

The run, here I am again, seems like every year, playing catch up on the run,  Last weekend when everyone, okay some friends, athletes and competitors, were knocking out the PS 1/2 Marathon I ran 8 miles and really could not have run a mile more.  8 miles - and we are how close to O'side.   And so the spiral started, I am out of shape, slow, will never be ready, I suck.   Just like that.   If my Training Peaks logs were released, the men in white coats would show up at my door,  Saturday " great ride, hit the power, feeling awesome.  Sold run off the bike"  Sunday " shoot me, I will never be ready to race O'side"   Maybe my head is more of a mess than my run. 

My final word on this is I am glad I don't coach me.

LOVING the gatorade endurance chews
Dunkle D3 athle
Palm Springs was a blast!!  7 girls, one house and hours of fun.  We biked and ran (some more than others as you already know), but we cooked, watched the Olympics, critiqued the Olympians and laughed a LOT.   Saturday afternoon was great - sitting, laying around with Normatecs and laptops and chilling out.  The group was a combo Nytro racing buddies and athletes I coach.  No boys, but we have have chatted about them for a minute or 2.   It was the kind of weekend that makes you LOVE triathlon.  Training alongside my athletes is fantastic.  I am blessed to have so many great women in my life!  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Post injury, still injured, Christmas ramblings

5 weeks ago (yesterday) I was in great running shape, good off season bike shape and good swim shape and then I fell hard , really hard running down hill. again this is why I was a swimmer #nocoordination. For 2 weeks I was in a world of hurt with a  knee 3x it's normal size, a numb/tingly spot on the top of my shin (hairline fracture) and a swollen bruised hemotoma and 11 cuts on my hands of which 7 required  yes 7 I had to change them 2-3 x a day. Last count over 50 bandaids used in my healing  band-aids to prevent from bleeding all over.  Add crutches for 2 weeks because my knee/leg hurt that badly and daily I would break open a  cut or 2 on my hands from the pressure of the crutches.  Cuts on hands + crutches add to the adventure!

Timing was awesome as I had my kids + the rest of my family coming for Christmas.  12-16 people for dinner at our house the 22-26th - no problem.  Me on crutches and in pain.

So, it took a village, a lot of help  and chardonnay to pull off amazing holidays!  6 cousins together, my siblings and me +  our parents together for the first time ever over Christmas.  Considering we (the Dunkle/Braman's)  don't do Christmas, this was big for us-  Tree, lights, ornaments, red table cloth and even Christmas music.  I may have worn a few red sweaters, but no santa sweaters.

Family, food, fun and love!  Blessed to have such an amazing family! 
So the family slowly left and I was left with my knee/leg issue.  The elation of learning it was not my ACL lasted 11 seconds when I learned about the fracture. But I got to ditch the crutches, hit the pool and upper body work in the gym. Super excited for another 11 seconds then realizing I was still not running or biking.   The swimming was lame at first, 1 leg, no flip turns but it progressed fast to sorry ass turns and I was back in my lane, at the rear, but in my happy pool place.  At 2.5 weeks I was spinning on the trainer at 50% of normal power but I was happy to be moving for 11 seconds and then depressed about how my power sucked.  By 3.5 weeks I was able to ride hard and was logging some good trainer workouts.   Look at me LOVING the trainer.  Zwifting daily and slowly upgrading my kids.  At 4 weeks I cleared to do all my regular gym work- lunges, squats etc. So I picked up where I left off 4 weeks ago and last Thur knocked out a great session, it's Monday and I am still sore.   Oops- ease back into it?

I was also cleared to ride outside!  Boom -2 hours on the coast Saturday was awesome.  So logically taking advantage of the holiday today and riding Great Western Loop made total sense or was really not the smartest comeback ride.   No paid in my knee but OMG it was slow and the power was low as planned  sucked for another 11 seconds for so.

I finished the ride and reached out to Mike.

ME:  Fck I am out of shape
Mike: What month is is?
ME:   Yea yea I get it not really but that seem the appropriate response

Here is where being a coach and an athlete sometimes is like having 2 personalities.
My coaches hat on says " its January,  I have been out for a month, ease back into it. It's about building back.  You have a long season, this is where you should be. Not a big deal.

Me the neurotic athlete: I have lost ALL my fitness, I am out of shape and slow and will never be fit again.

If I dared look up my emails to Mike about this season I would recall saying... "no pressure early in the season, lets build up and have a killer late season"  that being said I should be fine, but I not :)  I want to be fit and fast  now, although not realistic.     I know that but I don't want that.  Gosh I am glad I am not my own coach.

Whats next?  Hopefully running soon :)  Once that happens (painfree) we can chat races. For now- ZERO races on the books.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

100 x 100

The whole crew (note HB at 7mos preggars and knocked out 10k) 
It's a NY Eve, Birthday Swim, psycho swim kinda thing... I have done it many times, at one point in my life I did it weekly, but I was young and did not have a choice, but now I do. This bat shit crazy swim on 12/31 was my idea!  I challenged my athletes to it and I am beyond impressed at how many rose to the challenge, took it on and knocked it out.  Go D3

I planned our session here at our pool. 7am Sunday!  In the water 7:15 and go!

D3 crew pre swim

We had 12 crazies!  7 are my athletes and did not really have a choice but they came willingly and then added a few loyal  friends.  We took 4 lanes and teamed up by swim speed and GO!  Our lane did 1000: 15 x 100 - 4 times through.   Others did 100 x100 and the rest modified as they wanted.

My Boulder athleteAlison rallied other D3 athletes to join her, Jen knocked it out in Seattle and Sarah nearly did it in Kona in an unheated pool and Abby logged over 5K in the DR in a kidney shaped pool!  Can I tell you how excited I am that they toed the line and went for it!   The virgin 10kers are awesome!  Way to Go.

We had a ton of fun, ate heartily after and devoured a foodsensenow amazing birthday cake for Alexis!  Good friends, big swim, great year end!
We ate a LOT of that cake 

2018 is going to be epic for the Dunkle D3 Athletes!!  #doepicshit18 #gobigorgohome #jointheD3Dunklecrew

Monday, January 1, 2018

And it's 2018...and I am broken

I realize now I have 3 unfinished blog's in my draft folder..... and my last blog was 10.19/17.

So much to catch up on but I am going  to glaze over it all for your sakes and mine. I embraced the off season well with increased alcohol, dietary changes that included increased sugar, processed food and loads of "off limits" eating.   It was necessary and glorious but it's time to clean it up!  30 days- no alcohol, sugar, dairy or grains.  Day 1 - success!  I did this last year for 3 weeks and the first week is the hardest, then it becomes habit.  I will do my best to be militant for 30 days and then be moderate. 

As for training .... I took a few weeks off after Kona but then resumed training at my own will and it was random.   For me the key to an off season is no mandatory anything, but I keep moving every day.  Lots of short runs with dog, some swimming and biking was off and one.   I hit the gym regularly and  pretty hard.  Notice the past tense there.....well this all came to an end on 12/19.   My running was going well and 12/15 I asked coach if I should run the Carlsbad 1/2- he says yes.  We laid out a  few long runs with the first being that weekend.   My plan was run the 2 hours and decide if I should register.   I ran in the PQ Canyon with Alex and the dogs, Alex turned around a bit early to make a shorter run, WHY did I not turn with her!  Ugh,  I was feeling great and decided to make it a 13 miler.  Around mile 10 after the sketch downhill where I was super conservative I had a bit more to go and relaxed and just ran.  I have not idea what happened but it was right knee slam, left knee graze and both hands sliding down hill.  It was a seeing stars, screaming Fck, holy sh&t kind of fall.  Dazed, teary eyed and laying on the trial , the dogs went crazy, licking and crying and worried. I knew something bad happened.   I just laid there and finally got up and tried to shake it off.   I was able to get walking but was literally dragging my right leg.  I weighed my options and there were none, I was 2 miles from the car on a trail that cars cannot access.

I called John, I just needed to talk to someone.  My plan was to tell him I fell but am okay, instead I burst into tears.  50 minutes later we make it to the car and I so relieved and I think I am okay.  I chew down 2 Aleve and get in car, bloody and likely a bit in shock.  My warped brain decides we should stop at Whole Foods and go Christmas Food shopping and then hit Starbucks.  I park and step out of the car and fall into the bushes- I cannot bear weight on my right knee/shin.   Houston we have a problem!

But I am still damned determined for coffee, so I order a mobile order and go through a drive through only to get home and realize I cannot walk.  I am crawling along the floor pushing my coffee.  WTH... meanwhile Alex is on her way, TG!  and we are off to Direct Orthopedic Care , urgent care for bones.   2 hours later I have crutches, a brace and a heap of pain and no pain killers and really no anwers.   But this is not good.  Let's just say the next  7 days were pain filled, immobile and no fun for anyone in this house.   I had an MRI and then had to wait.  I don't recommend getting injured around the holidays, plan it better, as Dr's are gone, places are closed.  In any case the final word is a proximal tibial fracture ( hairline top of the tibia near the knee) and torn meniscus.  Can I say FCK!! again and again!   Okay we were all worried it was my ACL, thank goodness it was not, but that elation lasted about 11 seconds only to realize I am out for some time.  Really- why am I so bloody uncoordinated. 

Mind you I also have 16 people coming for Christmas and I still don't have any real pain killers.  Let's just say the off season alcohol consumption doubled.  There is a lot of heart ache and pain between then and now but here we are Jan 1 and I am MUCH better than I was on 12/19 but I am not running!  I am on the trainer and swimming :)  But no clue on when I can run....thus the early season race plans are on hold.    In the big scheme it's not a big deal, I did not have any big early season race plans, but seriously, what a pain in the arse!   

More on Christmas was awesome - yes I said Christmas  and awesome on the same sentence. 

So that is my health update on Jan 1, 2018!   NO NEW YEARS DAY run for me -  Blah! 

Thursday, October 19, 2017's a love-hate relationship

Kona is my happy place the 9 days leading up to the Ironman World Championship!  IMWC is my favorite swim, the bike and I have an inconsistent relationship and the run, well let's just say we are at odds.

This was my 6th Kona and every time I well up with tears of gratitude and excitement treading water Kailua Bay and again at the magical finish line.

So here is how it went down in 2017!

Swim: 58:05.  Best swim in Kona.  I felt great the entire swim and was swimming strong and comfortably, never out of breath and just under, pushing it too hard.   I worked for this.  Post IMBoulder we did a 3 week swim block of 25K a week with a few 7-8k swims and this gave my swim a bump that carried me through to Kona.  I consistently swim 15k a week with a few 18K weeks.  2 solid masters sessions with 5k where I am all in and often would finish up a bit smashed with a lolling head in the showers.  3rd swim a long aerobic swim with lots of pulling and the 4th varied from a recovery swim to a shorter masters session.

Fueling:  pre swim:  20 oz Right Stuff and 1x Glukos Gel

Bike: 5:49:35  I have ridden faster and slower here, but looking at power which is what is telling, I was within 5 watts of my good years. But what was different this year was the last 30 miles I was feeling great.  The grind from Waikaloa to the turn to town I was in my aero  bars, hitting my power and feeling solid.  Most years I am massively uncomfortable, fighting the head wind and miserable.   Few changes here was a core focus that last month which was really for the UPR and I think that really helped my lower back. Every day 10-12 min, nothing crazy but made a difference AND my last long mid week rides were post long swim.  There is something about the neck and lower back muscles swim to bike.  We do a lot of bike to run bricks but I think long swim to bike are beneficial as well.

Fueling:  Plan was 2x 750 calorie bottles with carbo pro + caffeine but when I reached for my bottle turning onto the Queen K it was gone. So either I hit a bump and lost it without knowing or someone grabbed it - hard to say.  Minor panic and had to readjust.

First 3 hours:  1x gatorade endurance + 100 calories shot blocks + 1 1/2 bottles water /hour with Right Stuff: 250 calories and 1800mg/sodium
Next 2:50min:  Special needs I had 200 calories stick rice balls + 250 cal/hour carbo pro + caffeine and 48oz water with the right stuff

Run:  4:34:46  - this pains me to type. OTB I was wobbly on the pier but who isn't.  Running out of T1 I was feeling relaxed and great.  First few miles breezed by with ease, holding back the pace  I took in a water at each aid station + shot block but SHOULD have been drinking 4-5 cups and started the sodium immediately. OR had a full bottle with the goal of getting it all in the first hour.   Mile 4 I started seeing black spots and feeling dizzy and my legs locked up.  I increased fluids and sodium was running ok until mile 7-8 and then  coming up Pilani I had serious waves of dizziness and black spots and had to walk. I was terrified my race was coming to an end.  I was walking and jogging to keep moving.  At the Queen K was more walking. Between MIke and John telling me more fluids, coke, salt I was tuning them out and giving up, it was just horrible.  Mike told me run 100 steps and walk 10, I ran 100 and walked 25 and slowly increased the running to 200 and managed this through the next few aid stations but was so low and was passed by enough women with 8's that my dreams of a podium finish were slipping away, it became about finishing the race.  Around mile 13 I changed it up and took 1 cup of everything, water, coke, water, Gatorade, red bull, water and the volunteer dumped 1/2 gallon ICE water on my head and the fog began to clear and I was moving , slowly but running.  So every aid station I did it all, hat in ice water and a liteny of fluids.  It was just so damn hot,  the lovely cloud cover we had in years past was non existent- it was full sun blazing sun that was relentless.   From here it was one mile at a time.  Entering the Energy Lab I was feeling better and running back around the 10:00 mile pace.   It was not pretty and it was painful but I was moving and just kept going,  I was chasing the sun and decided I'd rather drop on the road versus walking any more.  The slog back up the Queen K was a new place of pain  and suffering but seeing PalinI I started to cry, I am going to finish.  Ruining down Pilani was so painful I cannot really explain it and then it gets a bit fuzzy.  Years past, not matter how hard that final run to the finish line is so amazing, slapping hands with tears of joy but I don't recall much other than the girl who passed me in the chute, yes my AG and beat me my 6 seconds.

I remember finishing and then it goes dark.  Next memory is the med tent.  Lost 9lbs and when asked could not give a clear answer about my location.  When the Dr asked me to follow his finger with my eyes I apparently told him that if he held it still I could follow it.  That along with telling him I was at a circus and I earned and IV.  10 min later it was all coming back to me.

So with that I have conflicted feelings.... elated to have have been her and finished but so disappointed to not have held my run together! 

John and Mike were invaluable out there, thank you!!  Hillary, your words got through to me as well.

So we close another Kona.  Here is what I know

1-I will be back but not in 2018
2- I  have to figure out how to manage losing 84L of fluid/hour and 3100mg of sodium before I return.  The heat and humidity is what is killing me here.
3- My run needs to be at at different level
4- I  need to fix my imbalances that are limiting me on the run

So Mike and I are working on a plan that does not include IM in 18, expect maybe very late in the year -  it's a long list to fix before I come back to Kona!

Even with the pain and suffering this is an amazing place!  hats off to those who can executed a sold race in Kona.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chattanooga 70.3 Race Report

Racing alongside these 2 awesome women who I also
coach is priceless! 
I swam 1.2 miles, bike 56 and ran sort of 13.1 miles, ate tacos, drank wine and called it a day.  

Swim: 29:20  I went out hard with 2 solid swimmers and by the 1st turn buoy I was gasping for air and struggling, nearly had to roll over to catch my breath.  This pace was not sustainable so I dialed it back a bit and swam hard.  Sighting was nearly impossible due to the sun coming up, even with polarized goggles, I could not see.  

Water was fairly open for about 500 meters and then we started to come upon the slower swimmers.  I felt like I swam 26-27 and am thankful I did not see my swim time or I would have been a bit upset. I was 5th out of the water which tells me I did not swim all that well.  FYI I don''t like getting beat on the swim, I don't like getting beat in general, but on the swim, especially NOT.  So to say I was running through T1 psyched would be a bold faced lie.

T1- out of the water, along the grass, sharp left up the ramp to the top, up the hill and into the bike racks.  My helmet was on and I headed right to 464 looking to make up time in transition.  Turns out my number was 364 and that took some time to figure out.  So onto the bike feeling pissed.

Legit bike course I should have LOVED
Bike: 2:56:30  Goal was 2:50.  I kept saying, find your happy place, find your happy place, fck my legs hurt, find your happy place, my legs really hurt and so it went like this .... Onto the climbs, the steep 3 miles where I should have been happy but I was whining that my legs hurt, my power was low and where for the love of god was the top. Crested the top and thought "8 miles done, 48 to go"  WTF,  why did I race, I could be drinking coffee or wine now and so it went.  My head was in a dark spot, I was even secretly wishing for a major mechanical so I could stop, a " gentle" run in with a car where I was not really hurt nor was my bike, but I had to quit..... okay not really, but maybe.  I rocked the descents!  I was spot on my nutrition and hydration but legs were flat.  I did my best to stay positive and enjoy the descents and the frequent women in my age group passing me.  I stopped counting, okay not really, I just got more frustrated.  I tired to enjoy the countryside, the cars on the roads that were closed blocking me from passing a few women, focus on how fortunate I was to be there, wishing I was not there. pondered competitive knitting, planned post race celebrations and then it was onto T2.  Tried not to throw my bike at the volunteer and did say thank you running to my bag. I had the right #, go the right bag and tried again to maximize T2 so hopping on one foot, put my socks and shoes on, knocking over a chair filled with urine, gross- who does that? Just pee on your bike and yourself.  Started to run out of T2 with my bike bag but decided to drop it off.  Onto the run, Yea! 

All those hill repeats SHOULD have helped 
Run: 1:58:44 END OF BLOG.... This was sad, mile 1 was nothing spectacular and I am going to be honest here.  I was so far off my goal race I did give up.   I am ashamed of this but honest about it.  I just ran, no watch and minimal effort.   I did not walk and I did not yell at anyone, except the one large volunteer who said "come on honey, pick it up"  and I dropped and F Bomb.  When that happened I decided I maybe having a shit race, I may not be happy, but I can be nice.  So for the next 8 miles up and down those dang hills, over those lovely bridges, I was nice to the 500 women that passed me, to the volunteers and kept my fits clinched to not to accidentally flip the bird.  To say I was miserable physically would be lie, my HR was low and I was our for  Saturday jog, but I was in a world of mental hurt.   Considering 2 weeks prior I ran 17 miles 20 sec/mile faster, I did not deserve that medal.
That Aero helmet looks amazing on you ....said no one ever

The finish line was (for those passing me), red carpet, jumbo tron and tons of crowds! 

Yeah I am done!   Having friends, my athletes and so many familiar faces made the finish line and post race fantastic.  

There you have it..... onto Kona.  Most work here needs to happen in my brain!  

Currently on my iPad
- How Bad Do you Want it
- Calm the Fck Down
- Elite Minds

I need some attitude adjustment.....

Nothing sugar coated here my friends!  

Ironman 70.3 World Championship

This is not my race report but more an overview of the 70.3 World Championship venue, format and overall experience.  Race report to come later.

Chattanooga is a very cool town!  I have been to Nashville, love it and to Knoxville, back in college and arrived in Chatty with minimal expectations.  Its a beautiful town, rolling or extreme steep mountains hills, lots of green and the river right down the middle.  The downtown area is clean, walkable and a offers a great venue for a race. Clearly the city knows how to do this with an Ironman and 70.3 already held at this venue.  

We stayed at the Springfield Suites, .4 miles from the Village, and this was ideal for a few reasons. Modern accommodations with a fridge and microwave and small sitting area works well for a race.  Free breakfast was helpful for the coffee, oatmeal and fruit.  The rest of the offerings did not fit my pre- race diet - ie: powdered eggs, fruit loops and donuts but did offer a variety for all.   The location was not downtown which made getting in and out easy.  The traffic in Chatty is horrible, so when we needed to drive anyplace, Whole Foods twice a day,  it was relatively easy.  

This is the first year Ironman split the men's and women's race.  Women only raced on Saturday and Men on Sunday.  We arrived Wed after a long day of travel- no direct flights. But we there in time to hit WF and settle in.  
92 countries 

Thur AM we walked to the practice swim and it was chilly 59 degrees,  The river was moving reasonably well and the 600M course was 65% faster down river.  I was excited for this for race day!   Water was warm, no wetsuit and really comfortable.  
Turns out by race day the turned the current  off, or at least 95% of it and must have tested the water with and ice pack.  So the promised "challenging" swim was now more like a lake and wetsuit legal. Shame on you Ironman, dumbing down the swim.   When do they ever make the run course easier?   The argument was they wanted everyone to make the cut off...really?  this is a World Championship!   My #1 complaint.  The swim start was by age group but self seeded by time within the wave. Every 10 seconds 10 went off.  Interesting start and while I prefer a mass start I was informed logistically by @ceoironman that was challenging as we only had 300 meters to the first buoy, not enough room to spread out.  400 athletes in the bigger waves and 300 meters to get to the buoy = cluster fck.   The idea of the wave, staggered starts was also to spread out the course.   Personally I saw a fair amount of drafting but was quite happy to see the 2 worst offenders around me get nailed.  @CEO says 50 drafting penalties for the women's race, not sure about the men.   

On that subject WHY not make it a 10 min penalty at a World Championship?  

A few 35-39 yo guys on the plane said "massive packs", there was no way around it.  He was telling me he was going 24mph at 150 watts for over 10 miles, claims he did NOT want to draft but could not hammer around 20 guys, Hard to say....but that is his story.  I have since reported him - ok not really but I did publicly shame him on FB after I recoreded the conversation, ok not really but that would have been funny. 

Registration was packed even on day 2 at 11am.  30+ minute wait but the volunteers were great and it was reasonably painless. Another $400 backpack and we were ready to roll.  

Racing on Saturday with women was fine, personally I like to mix it up.  I am old school, lets do mass starts and deal with the masses on the bikes.  I know a lot of women really enjoyed the "female" only race day.  I liked it for 2 reasons - 1: female pros got their own race, without the fastest AG men coming up on them and 2- it was great to watch the men's race on Sunday.

I understand the format is going to stay this way, so I suppose I need to accept it. But so help me if they do this in Kona..... 

The bike course was not the same as the 70.3 or the Ironman and it was tough!  At mile 3 you start a steep 3 mile climb, it was steep and tough!  the rollers and a few more steep climbs through mile 22. Somewhere along that portion you cross into Georgia.   The course was challenging and beautiful. My complaint is the open roads, we had cars along the course, both directions and a few times I was stuck behind a slow car who was stuck behind cyclists.  It was dangerous and I saw a few women pass the car on the left, crossing the center line and risking oncoming traffic.  I was floored the roads were not closed.  Although I learned on Sunday the roads were in fact closed, so there you have it- Impossible to manage all the small side streets and turn offs.   I am thankful no one was hit.   I had a few encounters with some unhappy locals that involved the finger ( on their part). 

Run, so this was brutally hard especially since my legs did not show up.  But it was fair and a great course for spectating and crowd support.   The course stared up hill  and then went down along the river, through neighborhoods, across the river, up and down and up and down and back over the river and again.  

Finish line was a nice down hill and epic!  World Championship red carpet, 92 countries flags flying, jumbo tron and the music to make you smile even if you were barely moving.  Great finishers area with good food options  Piggy Mac (shredded pork covered in mac-n-cheese- welcome to the South), Fajita tacos or Pizza and Beer.   Large grass area and great area to hang out.   Training Peaks had a booth and you could get instant results with your stats- nice touch.  

Finally a very cool finisher hat- Boco Technical trucker hat and another ugly shirt, which Les and I decided is on purpose to push people to buy more merchandise.  Another medal, personally I'd prefer a nice water bottle but I maybe in the minority there too.  

Final thoughts....

- Chatty is great venue for an Ironman- would definitely consider the full or the 70.3
- Great town but you are not in So Cal and the 2 times we dined out that was apparent BUT there is a Whole Foods minutes away so that levels the playing field. But you can get almost anything chicken friend, even at WF "chicken fried tofu"
- Nicest people, 99% of the people we met were friendly, appreciate the race and wished us good luck
- The Tennessee River is really nice
- Ironman knows how to put on a top notch race
- No Southwest or Alaska flights to bikes are expensive- instead of paying American $300 I paid TBT $350 and that is a seamless way to go
- Check your connection, flying through Charlotte to San Diego IS NOT the most direct route home 
- watching the men's bike out-  my PSA is that if you are not 100% efficient at mounting your bike with shoes clipped in, and you cannot seamlessly slip your feet in, DONT do it.  We say 2 crashes from guys weaving trying to look at their feet, get their feet in and took out another biker and themselves.  Watching Javier Gomez run at a faster pace than I raced with one had on his saddle and leap onto his bike and pedal off, was amazing!!!    Most of the men I watched with shoes attached were slower pedaling out and getting their feet in than those running in bike shoes and hopping on. 
- Transition practice may not have helped at this race unless you practiced exiting the water, stripping wetsuit, running across grass field, up a ramp with slippery tape, up a hill and into T1, but something to consider. 
- they needed signs in T2 like they have in Kona, "peeing in a chair will result in penalty" I opted to transition standing up after seeing 5 chairs with pee puddles.   Seriously, pee on your bike or use the giant blue structures in T2
- Racing with 2 of my athletes and friends was amazing and fun!  Seems 1/2 of San Diego was there.
- FINALLY a tracker that works!! It was great to see someone go into T2, see the tracker update bike split, and then see the T2 split and know I would see them .5k later.  
- I now know how to property spell Chattanooga 

Cheers... race report up next, once I have courage to review my stats.