|Frank and Sophie wanted to go to Knoxville, too!|
After eight hours, two potty stops (impressive for me), and one fierce game of 'Road Tag' with fellow Ohio Rev3 teammate, Jamie Dix, we were finally checking into the Holiday Inn at World's Fair Park. This was the perfect hotel as the race expo and finish line were literally five steps from the back door. We got there in just enough time to pick up our race packets and check out the vendors before everyone checked out for the day.
|Loving my NormaTec Recovery Boots!|
I got my bike back and took it for a quick spin to make sure the gears were shifting well and apparently they messed with the front derailleur, too, because I had trouble shifting from the small ring to the big ring, as in, I couldn't shift at all. I took it back and the mechanic, of course, had no issues getting it to shift. So, he asked how fast I was pedaling because apparently if there is too much tension on the chain it won't shift properly, makes sense. So he said try to slow down before I shift. OK? So I tried it again. I literally had to stop pedaling to be able to shift from the small ring to the big ring. This is counter intuitive to everything I have ever been taught about riding a bike, but whatever. I didn't want to take it back for fear something else would get messed up, so I said to myself that I would just deal with it on race day and get it adjusted at my LBS when I got home. This was literally my fifth time on this bike and I figured the race would be more of a learning experience and 'working out the tweaks' thing for me anyway.
Next on the checklist was a Team Rev3 meet up at the boathouse to get our AWESOME Pearl Izumi kits, judge the Blueseventy worst wetsuit contest (there were some pretty sad wetsuits, check out the video), lube up fellow triathletes with Tri-Slide (best anti-chaffing product EVER), and get our pre-race swim on. Let me just say that the people on Team Rev3 are simply amazing, not only as athletes, but as good-hearted, and down to earth people as well.
|Our awesome Pearl Izumi bike kits! Love them!!!!|
After this, Susan and I went for a little spin on our bikes, checked them into transition for the night, and headed over to the mandatory athlete meeting before heading out to dinner at my favorite pre-race place the Olive Garden. Plain spaghetti, sauce on the side, salad, and water PLEASE! As a side note, transition was in the bottom level of a parking garage. I wasn't sure how I felt about this at first, but it turned out to be awesome! The bikes were dry, no morning dew, and you could actually see what you were doing without having to use headlamps! Rock on!
|One of the hills, Susan and I chose to walk down on our way to transition. This picture does not do it justice. It was way too steep for my comfort and dead ended into a main highway.|
|Fernando all checked in and ready for his race debut. Check out my race number, too. Coolest number ever, 555!!!|
Race morning came way too early, as usual, but I felt ready for the day. I was excited to get this first tri of the season under my belt, and honestly, this is the least nervous/anxious I have ever felt before a big race (not sure why). Susan and I headed down to transition at around 5:15 to get set up for the day and shortly thereafter walked over to the swim start about a half mile away. My highlight of the morning was when Bree Wee came over an asked if she could borrow my Tri Slide. She continued to chat with us for a few minutes and wished us luck on our races which was really cool of her. What a super nice person and so happy to have her as part of the Rev3 Pro team!
Race recap: note the times listed below are from my Timex, which worked really well for me. My overall time was 2 seconds off from what Rev3 had listed in their results. I'm posting mine just because I know where I stopped the watch and wanted to see what my actual swim and bike was without adding transition distances.
Timex: 40:49 (1:54/100yds)
Rev3: 41:25 (2:09/100m)
In the blink of an eye, the pros were off and it was my turn to jump in the river. This is the first 'in water' start I have ever done and I was a little freaked out by it, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. Mama Bear got us all in the water, the horn sounded and we were off! It took awhile to find an open spot to get my groove on. At one point I got punched in the right eye, and I thought to myself in true Tommy Boy fashion, "That's gonna leave a mark." LOL. But I quickly forgot about it as I tried to settle into my pace. It took about 200 yds for me to get over my annual initial freak out session, talk myself out of grabbing onto a kayak or just quitting, and finally settled in. The swim was a point to point and was pretty uneventful. The coolest part for me was swimming under three different bridges. The finish was at a floating dock and there were plenty of volunteers there ready to grab your arm and pull you out of the water. Thank God for them! They were awesome and had me out of the water in seconds.
The run from the water to T1 was about a quarter mile, as transition was moved to a nearby parking garage instead of right across the street due to construction of a new building. The asphalt surface hurt my feet a little bit, but nothing to write home about. I saw Rev3 teammate Jamie right ahead of me in transition and wished her luck as she headed out on her bike, grabbed my gear and was off for Fernando's maiden race voyage.
Timex: 3:13:58 (17.3 mph)
Rev3: 3:14:02 (17.3 mph)
I absolutely LOVED this bike course. Coming from Ohio, there are not too many hills to train on and I expected this course to be very challenging. It was, but I loved it. There was beautiful scenery and with all the up and down hills there was always something to stay focused on. I have never shifted so much in my entire life! I could tell the weather was staring to get very hot, because I was sweating alot more than usual on the bike, but I think I did a good job staying hydrated and keeping in sync with my nutrition.
There were only two points on the bike ride where I was frustrated and this was not because of the course. The first was just after the first water stop. Some a-hole driver didn't like that there was a race going on on "HIS" roads so even though there were no other cars around and only myself and the girl behind me within his near vicinity he decided to play reverse chicken with us. He kept slowing down until we would get right on his bumper, wanting to go faster, then when we would try to go to the side of him, he would speed up and wave his hand telling us to try and keep up with him. He was just being a jerk and continued to do this for about a mile before he got bored and sped off. I got his plate number and was going to tell the next traffic cop, but by the time I saw another cop I had forgotten. It's assholes like that that cause accidents on the road and have no regard for human life. Seriously, get over yourself and have some respect for other people.
The next incident was somewhere between mile 30-40 on one of the really long downhill sections. It was me and one other guy behind me and a cat decided to run out in front of us, causing me to slam on my breaks and skid out. I managed to control it and didn't wreck, but I was a bit shaken up and surprised I didn't pee my pants. That cat may not have used any lives, but he sure took one of mine!
After having done the bike, I would love to know what the actual elevation gain was. Rev3 advertised it as just over 1000 ft of climbing. My Timex said it was just over 4000 feet of climbing and others on our team got values ranging from 2-3000 feet. Either way it was quite challenging!
|Thank you to Kimberly Shah's mom for taking these awesome race photos!!!|
Rev3: 2:43 (I'm loving how accurate my watch was!)
T2 was uneventful, pretty much a grab and go. I loved having the Rev3 team kits on because people were always cheering for me whether they knew me or not! It was a great experience!!!
Timex: 2:39:05 (12:05 min/mile)
Rev3: 2:39:08 (12:05 min/mile)
I started out feeling GREAT! My first three miles were right at the pace I wanted to maintain throughout (just under 10 min/mile). I even felt I had wiggle room to take it easy in the beginning. But then shit hit the fan. I quickly realized how challenging this run was going to be. First of all it was 89°F, there was no shade anywhere, and I didn't expect the amount of hills that there were. I knew I went pretty hard on the bike, alot harder than I thought I could, so I burned up alot of my energy there. Shortly after mile 3 things went south for me pretty quickly. I began to feel dizzy, could not get my breathing under control, and just felt like I had nothing left in the tank. At that point I started doing a run walk which ended up being more walk and less running than I would have liked. Thank God for the water stops and the new product 82Go, "water in a bag." These water bags were awesome and so easy to carry with you! If not for them, I don't think I would have made it from water stop to water stop.
There were honestly points on the run course where I was so tired I didn't think I could walk the rest of the way in. But eventually I made it to the final mile, with the help of a Georgia Team in Training guy named Scott. We ended up running the last 3 miles together and what a help that was! This was honestly the hardest half I have ever done. I am slightly ashamed of my
|Finishers medal and swag! Loving the Blueseventy goggles!!!|
Overall I am very happy with my swim and my bike times. I was very nervous for the bike and was worried it would take me four hours or more, so I couldn't be happier with that. I am stoked to have this race under my belt and excited to have learned where I am at training wise and what I need to work on. I am inspired to work harder and train smarter. Knowing the course and knowing the potential race conditions makes me excited to come back next year and kill it...especially the run.
I can't say enough about the Rev3 staff, volunteers, and team. This race was very well organized, very well laid out, and had great support! The finish line/expo area were a big party as usual! Thank you, also, for the support from our amazing sponsors: NormaTec, Pearl Izumi, Swiftwick, PowerBar (your cola gummies rocked on the bike course), Tri Slide, and Blueseventy!
With that, my next Rev3 event will be Wisconsin Dells 70.3, another challenging and hilly course! Bring it on!