I can’t believe it’s here! It’s already race week. I leave in only a few days and I am excited and nervous and ready as I’ll ever be.

It’s been a crazy season. I haven’t written much about it, but it’s been wild. I’ve gotten injured (hamstring), I had a hard spill on the bike, I had a big race A-HA in August, a big race meltdown in September and we had a major hurricane disrupt life and training. It makes me feel unprepared in many ways, but maybe I’m even more prepared than I know. I can use my experiences as an excuse or I can use it as fuel.

Here’s what I do know, I am looking forward to a new race experience. Chatty is new to me and I know from my past races that I can thrive that way. Similar to France and Santa Rosa, this race will mean new terrain and a slightly different climate. The swim is a down-river-with-the-current course, the bike is 116 miles (not the traditional 112) in North Georgia within sight of Lookout Mountain and the run will be the hilliest I’ve ever done.

Of course, I’ve had a few full-circle moments in the lead-in to this race. Last year during my Level II Endurance certification clinic, I created a presentation about Stephanie - a triathlete with her first Ironman in her sights. She wanted to do Chatty and place in the top ten of her age-group. I immersed myself in that Chatty race. I found pictures and a few race reports and blogs to add to my presentation. It was shortly after that that I signed up for this race myself! On September 1 of this year, I turned the page on my office wall calendar to find a picture of a runner on the Walnut Street Bridge in Chatty, the one I will cross twice and the one that will take me into the finish area of the race on Sunday.

The quote for September:

Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run.
— Steve Prefontaine