May 23, 2019 - Nooga=HOT
I knew coming into this race that I would be underprepared for the heat and while I wilted hard on the run thankfully I had no cramping issues at all as my nutrition was on point. The most cramping came on my ride down to Chatty. I departed New York on Friday morning at 3am with my wife and my son who could skip school ... 15 hours later we arrived at check in. I would not recommend what equated to my driving 13 1/2 hours in a day before a race but I was hella stoked when we finally arrived.
We stayed outside of town in East Ridge which was s hort 10 minutes away. Saturday we hit the zoo and then I attended a race briefing and dropped off my bike while my wife and son explored downtown for an hour or so - then it was back to East Ridge for an early dinner and bed.
Arriving at 4:30 we parked in one of the garages near the transition (so convenient) - I got bodymarked and set up my three bottles of Infinit on the bike and my custom infinit run blend bottle. Then it was off to the bus for the ride to swim start. Since we were on one of the first buses my wife and son got a porta potty stop with no line as I continued to prerace hydrate as I found my spot in the 33-35 minute swim group. At 0640 my family bid me good luck and headed back to transition and then the athletes waited ...
The swim start began at 6:50 for the pros and it was clear very quickly that the swim for the "normal" folks would be modified ... this led to a delay and I finally got in the drink at around 8am ... with only 2 people splashing in at a time and a very fast current this may have been my race with the least amount of contact ever as well as being insanely fast. My Garmin had it at just under a mile in 19:21.
I spent a minute in a porta potty then I thought I had a blazing fast transition (I didn't) and it was on to the bike. A quick stop before the mount line to get slathered in sunscreen (thank you volunteers) and then on to Georgia. The bike was pretty flat with two decent climbs one at mile 27 and another at 44. There was a ton of bikes the first 5 miles and the only real stretch of bad road through a construction zone under an overpass right near town. Other then those areas I was mostly passing people and maintaining 21 mph while staying where I wanted to in zone 3. Hydrating with infinit every 10 minutes and supplementing every 30 minutes with a salt tab my nutrition was dead on plan. The ride had some nice scenery and the volunteers seemed solid though I only grabbed one water bottle at the third aid station just to dump all over myself. I came into T2 with a time I was happy with (2:47), the sun at it's apex, and my least favorite disclipline looming.
Doing quick math I knew that 12 minute miles would carry me to a PR - that was doable I thought as I started out at an 8 minute mile out of transition past the water and up the road and then as we ran along that road I got slower and while I wasn't cramped at all (had my infinit on the run all day with a second loop bag tucked in my pant leg) training in NY where the weather hadn't yet hit the 70s more then once (plus me being fat) worked against me. After loop one I was still on PR pace but I resorted to a run 3 minutes walk 3 minutes as I beat myself up in my head for falling short of my goal. I saw a few Infinit geared folks out there who gve verbally support (much appreciated) and I crossed the finish and got my medal.
I really liked this venue and the aid station with the Hawaiian theme on the run was excellent. If I did this event (or the full) I would fly next time ...