Friday, June 15, 2012

REV3 Quassy Olympic Distance Rain Report

Well, I'm a little behind here on the race report, sorry!  Work has been crazy and last weekend Lauren and I snuck away for a little getaway to celebrate our 12th anniversary.  We had a great time, the B&B was great, we got to ride, run and shop sans kids, and we even got to see some fireworks after our dinner!!

Anyway, back to Quassy weekend.  It all started on Friday, June 1.  I took the day off to watch Autumn's end of school year recognition assembly.  What a treat, she was awarded the "Citizenship" award for her class!  We're so proud of her.

Since Lauren and the kids had traveled out to Ohio the weekend before, they weren't up for a road trip so I was making the solo trip up to Middlebury, CT....typically a 3 hour drive without traffic.  Of course, I did manage to hit traffic on a Friday evening on Route 84 in Danbury, but made it onsite by 5:00 or so.  Immediately found Kelly & Kelly, did some catching up, helped Kel with some tune up issues and headed for packet pickup.  The weather was nice, but the winds of change were in the air.  Smooth trip through pickup, caught up with some more Rev3 teammates and racked up the bike.  When I opened up my packet, I was treated to a personalized bib, #102 which coincidentally was the number of miles I would be racing that weekend doing "The Revolution", Olympic on Saturday and Half on Sunday.  Rev3 racked all of us together, maybe 15 or so.  Game plan, race the OLY on Saturday, long training day on Sunday.

Personalized bib, sweet!
By the time I got racked up and ready to head to our hotel I realized it was too late to get to the team dinner so I found a Panera and grabbed a quick bite.  Of course I kept checking the forecast...and it wasn't changing, nearly 100% chance of rain the entire race, and temps in the high 50's / low 60's.  Not only was I worried about the swim due to the fact that I had just days before got back in the water after a 9 month break (since last tri season, Steelman in August 2011), now we were going to have a sloppy bike course to test out my new carbon race wheels (READ: Carbon braking surface) AND it was going to be COLD (luckily the water was high 60's / low 70's).

So I spent what felt like forever packing up for the day.  Extra trash bags here, arm warmers there, etc.  I roomed with my teammate Anthony so we were up early and headed over to race site.  And it rained, rained and then rained some more.  We headed down to the water after I lubed up with TriSlide and got the wetsuit on.  Water felt warm and despite the weather there were easily 700 other crazies out there with us!

I was one of the first waves so we were off good and early.  No sun glare to worry about on this day.  I got a decent start to the swim and I really think I did a great job sighting.  I kept my eye on a light that was shining through the fog on the long leg of the course heading back home.  Hopped out of the water and started to get the wetsuit off.  I wasn't too winded, hadn't really pushed that hard, but I pulled the swim off after basically no swim training AND I was within seconds of last year's time.

SWIM: 27:22, 20th / 70 in my AG, damn!

Out of the water, notice the umbrellas!
I took some extra time to put now wet arm warmers on my already wet body.  Not an easy task, and probably not worth the time considering the conditions!  Anyway, I was off.  I decided to forgo glasses, probably a smart move since they wouldn't stay clear anyway.  My face was getting pelted by the rain at this point, but I was able to duck my head down at times and hear the rain pelting my aero helmet!  So after I hopped on the bike I realized that is wasn't going to be a day to push the bike.  Make up time where you can and take it easy everywhere else.  On top of that it was my first race with my new carbon wheelset....and I got to experience just how good they work when wet!

I felt pretty decent considering how far behind I was on saddle time.  It amazed me how up beat everyone was on course.  We were all sharing comical remarks as we would pass each other.  I made a point to thank EVERY volunteer who was standing out there. 
This isn't me, but you can see what the conditions were on course!
After half way I passed a volunteer who was shouting out overall position as we rode by. "THIRTY" he said to me as I rode by.  DAMMIT, now I have a reason to push this second half!  So I started stalking, and counting down.  I had made it to about 24 or so when I hit transition.  I hopped off my bike in my soaking wet socks and made a comment as I was running through the puddles "darn it, my feet are getting soaked" which garnered some good laughs!

BIKE: SWIM: 1:13:36, 20.93mph, now up to 13th / 70 in my AG

Still smiling.  Love the vegetation in the background.  You can see the rain drops if you look closely!

Off to the run.  (It was still raining by the way).  My mission now was to continue my countdown.  My feet were rebelling though, they were frozen!  The OLY course is great though, the first two miles are downhill and flat (you know what the rest of the course must be then).  I just started clicking off the miles, first two sub 6:00/mi.  Then the first hill came and the HR jacked up there.  Nothing like running through rivers of rain, splashing in puddles and feeling like a kid again though!  I continued to pass people, eventually hitting the line in the top 10 overall (this was because we were one of the first waves).

RUN: 37:16, 6:03 pace, now up to 7 / 70 AG

So, overall I was 2:22:27, 15th overall and 7/70 in the M35-39 AG.  Man is that a stacked age group.  My time was slower than last year although the swim and run were nearly identical.  The bike was obviously slower due to conditions and T1 was slower due to my arm warmer decision.

I've gotta hand it to REV3 though, given the conditions they put on one heck of an event, and this wasn't even the "big show" taking place tomorrow.  Course was perfect, plenty of volunteers, timing was very quick and accurate.  I'm proud to be a part of their AG team.

Anthony and I packed up our stuff in the downpour and hightailed it quickly back to the hotel to get a warm shower since we were freezing.  I headed back to the race site to spend some time volunteering at our awesome team sponsor's booth, Powerbar!  This was a blast, it's so fun meeting and talking to all of the athletes who either raced that day or were picking up their packet for day 2.  By the time I was done the sun was starting to come out.

I headed back to the hotel to pack up for another round of swim/bike/run, and of course our team dinner!

Stay tuned for Day 2.....

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