A week ago, Ironman announced a new 70.3. And guess where it is? Chattanooga! Prior to this, I was planning on doing Augusta again with some of my Nashville tri friends. I loved Augusta and was looking forward to racing it again and trying for a faster finish time. But ultimately I went with Chattanooga because:
future race plans.
The location is a no-brainer. Chattanooga is a 2-hour drive from Nashville, as opposed to Augusta, which is a 6-hour drive. This means I can buzz up to Chattanooga on the weekends and train on the course, which is HUGE.
The travel expenses incurred during Augusta were substantial: gas, food, hotel, etc. It added up. Chattanooga will be cheaper primarily because it's closer. I also won't need a hotel. I have friends in Chattanooga who have graciously offered up their homes for training weekends, as well as the actual race.
The race date, May 17, is a deterrent for a lot of people because it's so early in the season, but I like that it's early. Oh, and my birthday is May 20, so DUH. I trained well for Augusta and I've maintained it for the most part. If I follow the same 20-week training plan, I'll start training on Dec. 29, which is 7 weeks away. I like that I won't have those bleak winter months to lose my training and gain Christmas weight. I was worried if I did Augusta, that by the time I started training, I would be starting from scratch. I also like getting my big race over with early in the season and spending the rest of the summer doing fun, local races.
We all remember how vehemently I decreed 2 weeks after Augusta that a 140.6 just wasn't in the stars for me. Show of hands if you actually believed that. No one? That's what I thought. Well, you were all right. About a month to the day after Augusta, my friend Marne talked me into doing a 140.6 in 2016, which is the year I turn 40 (hashtag: fabulous by forty).
So.... the new plan is volunteer at IM 140.6 Chattanooga in 2015 (same day as Augusta) and race IM 140.6 Chattanooga in 2016. Also on the table is IM 140.6 Lake Placid with Marne in 2016. My hesitation with Lake Placid is cost and distance. I want people to see me do my first 140.6 and Lake Placid is too far to expect people to travel. The cost of flying me, John and my bike there, plus hotel probably rules this one out. But I have until June to decide, so we'll see.
Yours forever in HAM,