Chattanooga Tri - Anatomy of a Blow-up

July 2 - July 8
S:  8,741 yds - 2hr
B:  87.85 mi - 4hr 33min
R:  38.18 mi - 5hr 2min
Total:  11hr 34min

On Saturday, I headed up north to participate in the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, which consisted of a 1500m swim, a 42k bike, and a 10k run.  This would be my 5th year to race this race, and without a doubt it is always very hot and humid.  This year was no different, and as the title states it was perfect for a blow-up.

Swim - 21:05
I was pretty pleased with the swim.  About 1/4 of the way through I was able to find some feet of a guy slightly faster than me and draft off him for a good ways before he dropped me.  Besides that, it was a pretty boring 21 minutes.

Bike - 1:06:29
About 5 minutes after starting the bike, I knew my legs weren't there.  Wattage was way too low and HR was way too high.  It was super windy out on the course, but that really wasn't a problem.  One of the worst things was that we were riding on a highway in a lane completely closed to traffic...but cars were still going by in the lane next to us.  There were a handful of times where I was passed by an 18-wheeler, and the gust would almost knock me over!  Overall, my bike split was good and within the top 10 in the race, but it was nowhere near my potential.  Even worse, my legs felt awful and I knew I wasn't starting the run in a good state.

Run - 49:55
Embarrassing, to say the least.  A small consolation is that only 1 person out of 958 finishers went under 40 minutes for 10k, which is pretty astounding and speaks to the tough conditions.  Immediately after starting the run, my ears felt like they were clogged and ringing, which usually indicates to me that I'm shutting down and that it's T minus 15-20 minutes until some sort of blow-up.  Mile 1 was a 7:13 and mile 2 was a little slower at 7:23, but at that point things started to get bad and for the rest of the race all I cared about was crossing the line without passing out.

Total - 2:20:52
27th overall out of 958 finishers doesn't seem too terrible, but it doesn't meet my standards and I know I'm capable of much, much better.  The swim was the only discipline where I think I reached my potential.  I left at least 20 watts on the table on the bike and 5-10 minutes total on the run.  The heat and humidity definitely had an impact, but some days you just don't have it, and this was one of them.

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