The weekend was one month out from IM 70.3 in Chattanooga and we wanted to train on the course and get away for the weekend. Here's a litlle review, with photos too (!), in hopes that some of you can join us next year.

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 I was on edge. Every day I checked the weekend weather forecast and every day I kicked myself for looking. I already knew the forecast by heart. Rain. A big fat 90% chance of it. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Why?! Outwardly I sent friendly reminders to pack for all conditions while secretly grumbling about this crazy spring forecast.

Driving up early Friday I was pleasantly surprised that I encountered zero drops of rain, just very cloudy skies. I drove the bike course, marked the turns, and then grabbed some coffee to relax and wait for check in and the women to arrive.

Sprinkles. Small dots of rain started dropping intermittently right around check in. I let it go...

We were staying at The Crashpad, a boutique hostel, in downtown Chattanooga. The place was fantastic. Friendly, hospitable staff and clean bunks and storage facilities. The staff got us checked in and settled in no time and soon our group was meeting up for our first run. 

chatty crashpad 1

A light sprinkle tagged along with us as we meandered through downtown and over towards the riverfront. We had a fun first run together, despite the rain, and looked forward to the workouts coming up later in the weekend. However, the next priority was food! We decided on Taco Mamacita, a fantastic little restaurant along the North Shore. Having our fill, we made our way back to the hostel for a good nights rest...

...The next morning came quickly, and low and behold the skies were clear! We made breakfast together in the community kitchen then got ready to go for a 50+ mile bike ride along the 70.3 IM course. It was beautiful. The air was crisp with a hint of mist in the mountains and as the sun continued to rise the mist evaporated into a clear and sunny ride. Coach Craig met us along the bike course offering GU, drinks, and much needed snacks to keep us fueled to the finish. Upon arriving back in town we laced up our running shoes for a quick transition and short run off the bike. The sun was out and the heat felt good. 

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After the run we all decided on a great bakery for lunch, Niedlov's, to fuel us on for our afternoon swim up the Tennessee River. We met two awesome kayakers, Kori and her friend Brenn, to take us out into the cold waters of the river. 62 degrees and the strongest current any of us had ever seen, we tip toed our way in and squealed a little as the cold waters rushed over us. The current was so strong that if we stopped swimming we would float several feet in seconds. It took us fifteen minutes to make it a half mile upstream, and 5 minutes to get back down. It was crazy! We called it a day after those 20 minutes as clouds started to roll in and our arms had taken a slight beating with the current. 

Once again food was our focus! Urban Stack made the cut after the long training session Saturday. 

chatty retreat swim

Unique burgers and a fun atmosphere kept us going and we took a nice walk around downtown before heading back in for the night. The next morning we would have our final workout: a long run on the 70.3 course.

We woke to cloudy skies and a light drizzle. We were going for it. We started out half asleep and made our way through downtown to the riverfront and the rest of the run course. The skies opened up and a full on downpour hit us knocking any of the remaining sleep from our eyes. We were alert and soggy. In our rain laden vision we saw a man out in the distance standing in a rain coat, camera in hand...Coach Craig was taking photos and waiting patiently with water and GU! Getting soaked! We were very thankful for the rest stop. We finished 12 miles in the rain! 

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And that was it! It was now time to eat, pack, and head back to reality. We had a great time learning more about each other, getting in some quality workouts, some great food, and a break from the day to day.

Thanks for reading along and we hope that next year you'll want to join the fun! 

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