This would be my first Revolution 3 event and only my second time attempting the long-ish distance of 70.3 miles. The 10+ hour drive down was made enjoyable by the sweet, awesome, extremely practical minivan, and, of course, the presence of Jenny and James. I enjoyed the bonding time and I can assure you that they enjoyed my infatuation with nuts. Wait, what was that? Yes, I love nuts. Almost as much as cookies. Wanting to be more like Fergie and The Champ I took it upon myself to pack a cooler full of goods that would hold over hunger during the drive. I feel as though I dropped the ball on my pre-race nutrition before Syracuse last year so I didn't want to make the same mistake twice.
Looking back on the trip I realize that time went by rather quickly. We had a great time leading up to race day. More details here and here. Before I knew it, my alarm was going off at 4:50am on race morning. After the morning rituals of bathroom, coffee, eating, bathroom, and bathroom, we loaded up the van to head to the race site.
To ease the race nerves and prepare us for the journey that was soon to come we each chose a fight song to play on the way to the race site. The chosen songs were as follows:
Jenny: Katy Perry - 'Roar'
James: Eminem - 'Till I Collapse'
Me: Muse - 'Survival'
As James mention in his blog, we arrived a little later than planned. Luckily Sylvain was still setting up his area and had a pump I could borrow to inflate my tires since I had to drop off the day before. Thanks again, dude. I quickly laid everything out and made my way to the swim start. With not much time before the pro start time I hurried to put on my wetsuit. HUGE mistake. I was already sweating at this point from the short jog down to the swim start that putting on the wetsuit became quite the challenge. I wouldn't notice until later, but in the process of getting into my wetsuit my fingernail tore a small hole in the neoprene. Lesson learned: always take your time putting on your wetsuit. I finally got it mostly on and headed over to watch the pro's start their race.
Disclaimer: I did my best with Rev3's results so don't hold me accountable if I miscalculated my placement.
Swim - 30:17 (2nd AG)
Luckily I was in the 2nd wave of amateurs with a start time of 7:15 because I barely made it down to the swim start to see the pros take off at 7. It came with great relief that the tide was high enough today that dolphin-dives/running would not be necessary. Even though it was my first beach start and I failed miserably at the entry the day before (what not to do) I chose to place myself on the front line - I ain't scurd. Horn sounds and we are off. The start was not nearly as frantic as I had anticipated considering the # of dudes behind me. I was very quickly left swimming alone missing the chance to latch onto the lead group. I just didn't have the initial take off speed necessary to stick with the lead group. At first I was a little frustrated with what I thought was a poor swim, however I continued along at a pace that felt comfortable to me knowing that the day was long. I did very little studying of the swim course prior to race morning which left me feeling a little less confident as this was my first time attempting the 'clothes hanger' swim course. I feel that I took pretty good lines throughout the swim. After the first two turn buoy's it was a straight shot until the next one on the swim exit side of things. It was during this stretch of the swim that I realized I was making up ground and picking off green caps (2nd wave swimmers). This was a huge boost to my swim confidence as I neared the finish.
T1 - 2:21
Upon exiting the water and running (albeit slowly because I couldn't get my hands out of my wetsuit) towards the TA I noticed [wetsuit] strippers. I knew they would be able to strip the suit off much quicker than me so I headed in their direction and assumed to position (for wetsuit removal that is). Sweet, that was fast. The rest was pretty routine: put on helmet, grab bike and get out as quick as possible.
|Travel all the way to FL and have to park my bike next to this fast dude, are you serious?|
Bike - 2:24:33 (6th AG)
As I was leaving transition I noticed Sylvain making his way in and knew that I'd soon be passed. Shortly after getting strapped into my shoes and in a rhythm on the bike he rode by me on his sweet Cervelo P5. As much as I would have loved to go with him, or at least keep him in a near distance, I knew it was out of the question if I wanted to run well (or run at all for that matter). The course was very flat with mostly head or tail winds; was a welcoming change from the previous days crosswinds. I settled into the bike leg rather quickly and spent most of my time is awe when I would see the pro's coming in the other direction after the turnarounds (I believe there were a total of 5). I even got acknowledged by the Pro - so dreamy, I know. I also found it amusing/odd that there were several dudes on road bikes attempting to draft off the pros and riding all over the place. Luckily I didn't have to worry about these clowns as I was going slow on the opposite side of the road, but it's still not cool.
I found the bike leg to be very boring for the most part. I knew the watts given to me would be easy to maintain. I was hopeful that it would set me up for a great run so I had to constantly remind myself that I was going to be running for dough (not literally of course). It was really hard for me to hold back when several guys in my age group biked past me at very strong efforts, but I stuck to the plan in hopes to return the favor later on in the day. Sure enough I would end up passing them back early on in the run. I haven't done much long-course racing in my short triathlon career, but the volunteers (mostly 65+) were surprisingly all over this bike course. Their worlds of encouragement always brought a smile to my face and helped to make this flat and boring bike leg somewhat entertaining.
Nearing transition I got out of my shoes and started to prepare mentally for the run that was before me as I knew I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to place well in my age group since my bike was all but impressive. At this point, I didn't know exactly how far up Sylvain was, but at the last turnaround on the bike I calculated it to be around 6 minutes and knew that he probably put some more time on me during the last bit of the ride. As the results show, he ended up out biking me by 9 minutes. Well done, sir.
T2 - 1:20
Nothing special here. Took time to put on socks and grab my goods for the run: visor (thanks Timmay), shades, gel flask and race belt. Off and running...
Run - 1:28:26 (1st AG)
Feeling much more confident with my run this year, I was really looking forward to chasing down those who blew by me on the bike (I had their numbers in my head). I set out at a pace I thought would be easy to maintain for the entire duration of the run leg. My one goal for this race was to run the entire time without walking (something I failed at miserably during Syracuse 70.3 last year). As I made the first turn to start the run Cam Dye was coming towards me to begin his second loop of the double out and back run course. I quickly realized that I was coming up on him and begin to panic in the sense that I was probably running too fast at this point of my race. I glanced at my Garmin for some reassurance and confirmed that I was moving along at my target pace so I concluded that he must have been having a bad run.
Shortly after mile 1 I dropped my gel flask in the sand. I knew it'd be poor form not to go back and get it so I did. It was covered in sand but luckily I was nearing an aid station where I would be able to dump some water on it to wash off the sand. I actually enjoyed the double out and back run course as it kept me preoccupied with all the varying levels of athletes and races going on (there was also an Olympic distance). The miles were ticking away rather quickly during the first loop and I was feeling great. The effort never really felt hard but I tried to stay patient the first loop to leave some gas for the end.
It was also a treat seeing both Jenny and James out on the run course as it gave me a chance to show a little front double bicep pose. The run continued and I was slowly making up time on Sylvain but in the end it wasn't enough. However, I was over whelmed with how great I felt the entire run and it felt good to passing people that I couldn't hang with on the bike. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty excited to see mile 13 and make the turn into the finish chute.
Overall - 4:26:57 (2nd AG, 7th Amateur)
Sylvain ended up placing 2nd overall amateur and was therefore taken out of the AG rankings so I moved up one place only missing 1st by 16 seconds. Didn't see anyone ahead or I might have been able to dig a little deeper. Womp, womp - maybe next time.
|Right after finishing = tired|
|Wish I could remember what was so funny|
Overall, I am very pleased with my performance today and this season. I personally think I did a great job pacing this race today which lead to an overall solid performance. It was also so very great to see James and Jenny have phenomenal races. I'm not going to lie, I felt like a VIP traveling around with these two superstars.
Ending the season on such a positive race leaves me feeling confident that there is more to tap into in terms of long-course racing and I look forward to tackling the distance a little more in 2014 with the help of the one and only James Haycraft (aka JMFH).
Thanks to James, Jenny and her mother for the photos.