Oh hi there. I’m back from a few days of feeling very tired. I think that Miami heat melted my brain and sucked a lot more out of me than I had anticipated. As much as I wanted to keep up my mileage through the fatigue, with some recovery of course, and think of Miami as a long training day, my body was not having it. Duh, lesson learned.
I’m not sure if I went into my thought process when I selected Ironman Chattanooga as my first (and possibly only) full ironman distance triathlon. I say “only” because it’s just so much training and money and I may never want to ride my bike again after it’s done. Haha.
Anyway, in looking at my full ironman distance options, I had several to choose from. There’s a full distance in Clermont, Florida. It’s not the M-dot brand but it is a nice course and an easy to get to location. It is, however, extremely hilly and lacks the pomp and circumstance I was looking for. Yes, I want lots of spectators and a big to do. I can’t help it. I dismissed this one pretty quickly.
My other options were Ironman Florida (obviously) and the newly announced Ironman Chattanooga. In discussing with the S.O., we put together a spreadsheet, and included Ironman Mont-Tremblant as we’d heard it’s amazing but it was sort of a long shot already in my mind.
On the spreadsheet I listed as many deciding factors as I could think of: bike course, distance to travel, venue, run course, swim course, cost to travel, etc. I even included things such as: chances of family spectating and time off work needed. Then, and this is where the S.O. is a genius, we chose a scale of one to three and numbered each factor based on favorability. One, being most favorable and three least favorable. Make sense?
Ironman Chattanooga won out. It didn’t win by a huge margin but it scored points for a river swim (I prefer fresh water so much more), moderately hilly bike (which I surprisingly prefer), and location. It’s close enough in proximity to be easy to get to but it’s also in a venue that feels like a vacation/destination race. The fact that Meghan registered too was also a big bonus.
Sure, I probably would have come to this decision without a big, old spreadsheet but seeing it in black and white helped me organize my thoughts and pull the trigger on registration day.
The more I hear of the Chattanooga course, the more excited I become. I know it’s going to be challenging but I don’t think any ironman distance triathlon course is considered easy. It is, after all, 140.6 miles.
Have you ever used a spreadsheet to make a decision? How’s your week going?