Oh what a difference a day makes!
The Quassy stop on the Rev3 tour offers two races, an Olympic distance on Saturday and the half-Rev on Sunday. Some brave soles, like my teammate Chris and my Terrier Tri buddy Robert do ’em both. Not this guy, I chose the Oly. I did have some reservations about choosing the short one this year. But its 3 weeks out from IMCDA and two years ago the half-Rev course beat me up pretty bad. Lots of soreness that took quite a while to dissipate.
I looked at the weather report Wednesday night as I was packing and had another round of regret. Rainy and 60 on Saturday, sunny and 70 on Sunday. Oh well, here’s hoping the weather forecasts in CT are just as accurate as CO.
They are not. It started raining around midnight Friday night and didn’t stop until 1-2pm Saturday. I try to be one of those people who don’t worry about things they can’t control, like the weather. I’m mostly successful at it, but Friday night I couldn’t control it. Iwas stuck there lying in bed listening to it rain, wishing I could just go back to sleep. I knew there was nothing I could do about it. I knew I was prepared to race in the rain, or some sort of modified race, hell I was ready to race the half on Sunday if they canceled the Oly all together. But for some strange reason, my brain wanted to check and see (hear) if it were still raining, EVERY 30 minutes. Anyway, I laid there long enough for the alarm to go off. So I felt like I could get up without disturbing Chris, who was nice enough to split his room with me for the weekend.
Once we got moving things were fine. Setting up transition in the rain isn’t a whole lot of fun, but I was prepared with enough trash bags to preserve my shoes until the next ice age. The hardest part was deciding when to strip down and put on the wetsuit. Strike that, it was actually putting on a wet wetsuit. Anyway, temps must have been in the upper 50’s – low 60’s, because once I got in the wetsuit it still felt a little cold. Check out the pictures from the bike course, they say a lot more than I ever could.
I know some people abandoned the race because of the rain and cold, but I generally perform better in cooler weather, so I wasn’t about to complain. After reading about last weekend’s race in Boise, ID, I’m just going to shut up about the weather.
With snow out on the bike course, race organizers had to modify the course at Ironman 70.3 Boise to a 1.2-mile swim, a shortened bike of 12-miles and a 13.1-mile run. With the temperature hovering at 47 Fahrenheit for the noon start time, it was reported that up to seven of the professional men’s field elected to cycle the 12-miles in their wetsuits. Now that is cold!
The water temp was in the low 70’s so everyone was pretty anxious to get in and warm up. Unfortunately, some of course buoys had blown around in the night, so we waited until the two important ones, the turns, were reset. I was happy to be starting in the second wave with all the M30-34 and M35-39, with only some older ladies and gents in wave one. I think it gives you a realistic feel of where you are in the race. If the M25-29 had joined us it would have been great, but nothing is perfect.
I felt like I swam pretty straight, but its tough to say. If you followed all the buoys, you definitely did not! I hate to say it, but I spent a fair amount of time in the second half of the swim thinking about whether or not to wear a jacket on the bike. I was getting a little toasty towards the end so it seemed like an easier choice. I made it out of the water in under 23 mins, so not bad. Good enough to get to T1 before the place became a complete disaster.
I started out on the bike with one thought in mind “Keep the Rubber Side Down!” I really didn’t want to do anything stupid that would jeopardize my upcoming race at IM Coeur D’Alene. I also got my new Blue Triad roughly ten days before the race and really, really, really don’t ever want to hear the words ‘carbon damage’ ever again!
That plan was working just fine until around the half way point where some joker on the road side told me I was riding in 10th place. And I could see 3 guys right in front of me. Clearly, this shouldn’t mean much in a race with wave starts and more than one age group in a wave… but it does.
I’d like to think I do a reasonable job controlling my competitiveness, but its always there. I do my best to turn it off when playing Candyland with my niece, but in a triathlon, just because its raining? I rode the flats and uphills pretty hard, but dialed it back a notch or two on the downhills. This may have cost me in the final standings, but I rolled into T2 right side up, with everything on me and my bike still functioning properly.
Leaving T2, I was informed I was in 7th and I could see 3 guys just up the road. My legs felt great and I went immediately into catch everyone mode. I made it to 5th in the first 1/4 mile and then 4th around the end of mile 1. Then it became an entirely different race. It was just me, no one in sight. Not that you can ever see very far ahead with all the twisty roads and immense foliage. I know I struggle in this situation, so my new mantra became ‘keep the pressure on’, you just never know whats going on up the road.
There is one short out-n-back portion of the course around mile 2.5 where I finally saw the guy in 3rd but nothing of the other two. It was just enough to keep me focused for the next few miles. At mile four I started catching glimpses of him again. At mile five they were more frequent. But he wasn’t within reach by the time I was 2/3rds of the way up the last hill and it finally sunk in that it just wasn’t going to happen.
The results: Swim – 22:45 (1:31/100m), T1 – 1:47, Bike – 1:14:05 (20.8mph), T2 – :50, Run – 38:25 (6:18/mile). 7th overall, 4th M35-39, but promoted to 2nd M35-39 because 1st and 2nd overall were from M35-39.
You just never know what to expect in AG racing, especially when you travel outside your region. I know that Knoxville’s results (14th OA, 1st AG) were a little out of whack. I think the Quassy M35-39 field evened that out, and then some. My teammate Chris (also M35-39) was 14th OA and 7th AG. It was kind of a tough day to be 35-39.
Anyway, thanks to Rev3 for another stellar race. Tough luck with the rain, but when they figure out how to guarantee the weather, they’ll probably be doing more important things than triathlons. My nutrition may have suffered from my unwillingness to take my hands off the wheel, but thanks to Powerbar for fueling another good effort. My new Pearl Izumi shoes worked wonderfully! The draining feature in both the cycling and running shoes worked to a T. Combined with my Swiftwick socks, my feet emerged without a scratch, blister or hot spot. They really weren’t even that pruney!
They say everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Well, I might be down to 13:56… check it out, Julie Dibbens interviewed me at the finish line.