I think I was overly nervous for no reason and just didn't trust my training because after I got out of the water and onto the bike, I remembered why I was doing the race in the first place- because its fun!! I felt good coming off of the bike but at mile 6 or 7 on run I was not having negative splits anymore. My pace dropped from like 10:30s to 12 min miles. But oh well its a work in progress. I said to myself before the race that I would probably never do this distance again...but its addictive and I'm already trying to figure out what my next one will be! I did have a bad headache and diarrhea for 2 days after the race. (thanks black bean burger from the day before the race) However, I always seem to have GI issues at races and I stopped at every porta potty on the bike route. Over all, it was an exhilarating experience
I don't mind sharing. The venue was great and well supported by the town. IM made a good choice when they chose Chattanooga. My training was not up to HIM level. Between work and other issues I really had trouble putting in the running time. Just about everytime I ran for 2 weeks up to the race, I would get chest pain. I was able to convince myself that it was not my heart. It never happened on the swim or bike.
The swim portion of the race went fine. The first 300 yards were upstream into the current. I started fairly far back and passed a lot of people who seemed to be swimming in and Endless Pool. Once we were around the first turn buey it became much faster. The bridges looked like they were several miles away but it didn't take long for the current to sweep you there. I ran into a big log jam getting out of the water but was able to get to my bike fairly quickly. The bike was amazingly flat and fast. It was rainy and I had to remind myself to drink. I soft pedalled for 56 miles to save myself for the run. I kept my HR in zone 2 the entire ride. I got off the bike feeling stiff but good. I normally run with my bike through transition be do to the crowded, slippery, small transition and the fact most of the people in front of me were walking, I quit trotting and simply walked to my rack. (Maybe trotted a little when some space opened up but don't remember) Transition went fine and I got out on the course comfortably.
I knew the run would be an issue for me but I was certain it would go fine. I ran slow and steady. First 3 miles were fine. At about mile 4 I could feel the chest pain starting. Oddly when I dropped my pace it got worse, and when I smoothed uot my stride, it would get better. It was a 2 loop race. At mile 5 I walked the aid station to see if the pain would go away. I started running and it was worse. I had to make the decision of running the loop again or quitting. I quit. I honestly didn't want anything bad to happen.
Since the race, I've had my heart thuroughly checked out and it is fine. I will limit myself to short course for the rest of the year but still do long bike rides.