70.3 Chattanooga – the spectators perspective

So, about a year ago my husband was convinced to do another 70.3 this time in Chattanooga. While at this point I have no desire to do a 70.3 I loved the idea of seeing a new place! They could race and I could enjoy my surroundings!

I made Lauren and Jon pose for lots of photos!

Jon and I drove up from Tampa on Friday AM. We stayed at a host hotel that was about a mile from the transition/expo area of the event. The Holiday Inn Express Downtown Chattanooga was very nice!

Thanks to the close proximity to Downtown we were pretty much able to walk everywhere! We ate at some of the most delicious places! It started on Friday when we arrived by walking to find the local bakery!

Cupcake Kitchen pic

Jon and Lauren went for HUGE cupcakes. I however went for a small cannoli and some cake balls! I have a love for cake balls!!

So yummy!!

I’m pretty sure that I pretty much ate my way thought Chattanooga! On Saturday, I sherpa’ed their open water swim practice and then onto packet pickup!

Tennessee River endless pool!


When you are waiting around at athlete info meeting


Expo fun!

After wandering around and watching Lauren spend lots of her hard earned money at the expo and merch tent we started exploring! It began with lunch at The Maple Street Biscuit Company it was scrumptious! Make sure you stop there if you happen upon one of their locations.

Biscuit yummies

Then it was on down the street to check out the Moon Pie General Store! It was super cool and I bought lots of gifts and Moon Pies. Apparently, Moon Pies are made in Chattanooga!

Moon Pies

We also made sure to stop by the actual Chattanooga Choo-Choo! It was such a cool old hotel and train!

Choo-Choo


Train Selfies

OHH there was also a race! I mean, I didn’t do the race but I was an excellent sherpa!

Early morning shenanigans

If I were ever to do a 70.3 I’d totally want the downstream awesomeness that they had! Kristin was my cheer buddy and we had an awesome time!

Obligatory cheer selfie

Why, yes, that is a shark on her head! Made it easy for all our folks to spot her! We dropped them off, dropped the gear off at the car, and waited for the swim to finish. Once they were all out on the bike we went to find coffee and breakfast! We also tracked down the Starbucks Tennessee mug!

Mugs acquired this trip

We then grabbed lunch at Puckett’s BBQ which was SO GOOD! Look, I’m married to a vegetarian, it is nice to go to a quality BBQ! It was during this lunch that I slacked on my sherpa duties. The IM tracker was down and my kids decided to go SUPER fast and get back in 30 minutes earlier than I expected! We finished up quickly and made it out to see them at mile 6.9/12.5.

Lauren going by!

yes, we had cheer beer!

hubby finishing up!

So, the hubs LOVED this race. He says he would never want to do the full 140.6 there but the 70.3 he really enjoyed. The city of Chattanooga was absolutely lovely! It was quaint enough to be able to walk around and enjoy everything it had to offer. However, it wasn’t small enough to feel isolated! If you are into racing 70.3’s I would say this is one you definitely want to do! Great for spectators and racers alike! Check everything out, eat all the food, and enjoy everything this Southern town has to offer!

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No 70.3 for me

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to try again to tackle my first 70.3 or half ironman (I had to cancel my 2015 attempt at 70.3 Haines City due to working for IM). I’m not sure why I wanted to do this. I think because I will actually train if it is something new or out of my comfort zone. I dunno, I think it helps me to push myself. This was back in April.

It is now September and I have decided I don’t want to do that. There are a number of reasons.

1. I’m really focusing and doing well with my weight loss journey (that’s another post for another day). I’m almost to the 20lbs lost mark and I don’t want to lose my focus.

2. Jon is already training for some half’s next year and to be honest longer distances are more expensive and adulting has really hit our budget (hello new roof).

3. The main reason, I don’t want to train out of fear!

I believe there is a difference between training for a goal that is slightly unattainable and training for something to desperately beat the cutoff times. Some people may be motivated by the latter but I just can’t see spending $200+ (again, adulting) for something I know I likely will not finish.

– I am not a good swimmer. Actually, I hate the swimming part. Marine life freaks me out. Getting punched in the face freaks me out, generally the swim portion freaks me out. I can do it but not really well!

– I’m an ok biker. Right now I average about 13.5 speed when riding. If I dedicated myself I could probably get a bit faster. However, with a crappy swim, I’d need an amazing bike and now we are looking at 2 things to work on.

– I’m a slow runner. I’m ok with this. I like my intervals. I’ve been training and over the last year have gone from a 15mm to a 13mm average and this is great! However, for a half distance with no buffer time from the swim or the bike this could mean doom. We are now at 3 not so great areas.

– I rock at transition. Just wanted to throw it out there. I’m amazingly fast at transitioning from each one. If I could gain a bunch of time on this I’d be awesome! I can’t so this is a moot point.

I have learned, through marathon training, that I do not get motivated by fear. I actually shut down pretty hard. If I think I won’t make a cutoff or if I’m going to get pulled I would rather quit than push harder. I don’t know why but this is just me. So, while I’m training, if it seems hopeless I’m going to throw in the towel. Maybe this is because I don’t really have a training buddy or whatnot but that’s where I am. I like those just slightly unattainable goals. If they are too far to be reached I just won’t reach them! I’ll find excuses and I don’t like that.

So, for 2017, I plan on focusing on getting to a healthy weight and improving my running! I think that those 2 goals are enough for me. This doesn’t mean I won’t do some local short distance triathlons (and there is nothing wrong with not moving up) but I think I have enough to push myself with already! And this is a lot less stressful!

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I’m so behind

Oh, yea, I haven’t posted in a bit. With my stomach issues and moving life has been crazy. Yea, we moved! Bought a house. The awesome tax lady said buy a house or have a kid…this seemed like less of a commitment! So, today in-between working and stuff I’m waiting for deliveries. Jon’s parents spent the week before the 4th with us and helped us move. This week my parents are here helping unpack! I absolutely LOVE having all the help but I will be glad to start to figure out a new house routine next week.

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First Florida home!

Also, in all of this I was in my sisters wedding! It was pretty epic! We went home to MD for a few days and enjoyed family, crabs, and all things MD! That means travel, moving, weddings, all the things!!

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all weddings should have awesome photo booths!

 

In addition to being behind in posts, I’m also behind in stuff. I registered for Lycra and Lace again this year and realized I’m going to start training. I’m looking to do my first 70.3 next year and I will need to get going again. I didn’t realize that I had taken a whole year off from triathlon and training. When working at IRONMAN even though they want you to race the 9am-6pm (required) with the 45 minute drive on either side (I lived 20 minutes away but yay traffic) doesn’t really leave much for training. In addition, I was surrounded by triathlon all day. I really didn’t want to go home and training for one also!

Now the bug is back! YAY! Might be the working with Tri Equal now or the fact that our new house is just off the trail but I’m excited. Except, that I realized that my gear now needs to be replaced. New swimsuit, new shoes, and new bras. You notice how you always need to replace a pair of shoes and your bra at the same time. Like, “Hey, I’d like to not spend $200 right now for basics” but that seems to be how it always happens.

Now, I’m working on training plans, budgets, and what is needed for the house! UGH, money, money, money! I purchased a new Passion Planner since it was 50% off since it was 2016. So far I like it a lot and I am hopeful it will help me get everything squared away and back on track!