Rev3 Quassy - "Race" Report

Date: June 2nd 2013
Race: Rev3 Quassy – Half
Location: Middlebury, Connecticut
Weather: Sunny, 85 degree, 75% humidity

Race Goals:

1. increase effort on swim
2. maintain specific wattage on bike
3. put in a solid effort on first ½ of marathon

“You have to do Rev3.” “You have to do Quassy.” “Rev3 Quassy is awesome.”

- Everyone

The swim course was in Lake Quassapaug a fresh water lake located at Quassy Amusement Park. The course was triangular and was to be swam in a clockwise direction. The water quality is very similar to that of Timberman 70.3. As compared to two weeks ago at Harriman, the water temperature was much warmer, 72 degrees!

Prior to my 7:15 wave start I was able to get in a 7-10 minute warm up. Everything felt great including the arm coolers I was wearing. My intentions were to wear them during the swim to save some time during transition, we all know how annoying putting spandex type material on when wet is. I mention this because I have never swam with these arm coolers on so, yes, I did break one of the Triathlon Commandments; Thou shall never try something new on race day.

I positioned myself, as usual, to the extreme left and behind the front lines; there is still no need to risk hurting my shoulder…again. The two minutes or so before the horn sounded I became super focused, race focused. Noises started to become muffled, my focus sharpened, and my body was calm. I must be nearing the point of being ready to race the swim. The horn sounded, time to do work. The front lines charged in and I followed quickly behind them. There was a little bumping and contact for the first 100 yards or so but nothing unsettling. I very quickly settled into a rhythm and had my sights on the first turn buoy. As I approached the first turn I had passed a few swimmers but nothing unusual. It wasn’t until I made the turn that I thought something was off. With in the first 40 yards after the turn I had passed 20 swimmers, with ease. Wait, this shouldn’t be happening. Why are these guys slowing down? Is there a strong current? In addition to this weird event the sun was absolutely blinding making sighting virtually impossible. This middle third was going to be an adventure. I did manage to spot the white water from a group of swimmers in front of me that were spread wide. I guess if I split the difference between the far left and right guy then, I should be good? As I finished the middle 1/3 of the swim I had continually passed people and started to see different color swim caps. At the final turn I was finally able to see the sighting buoys however I had developed some serious chaffing from the arm coolers. The lack of sighting and the chaffing hadn’t rattled me, I was confident and relaxed and looking forward to starting the bike. I managed to pass some more athletes on my way to the finish. My hand touched the sand, feet touched the ground, and I was on my way to T1. I PR’d my swim by 4 minutes. The swim was a complete success.

There was about 75 yards between the water’s edge and my bike. I was in and out of transition smoothly. I mounted my bike and slipped on my shoes easily (I told you in the last blog that I had remedied the situation).

The best way that I can sum up the bike course at Quassy is, relentless. The hills of Quassy don’t have the steepest grade, they are just never ending. One would expect with the amount of climbing that there would be long, rewarding down hills, NOPE. My Garmin recorded over 4000 feet of climbing. This bike course is a true test of your biking abilities and if it is not respected it will devour you. Here are some highlights from the bike;

1. My nutrition felt on point, although I can improve upon it.
2. No one can bomb hills harder and faster than me. I welcome all challengers.
3. The hills of Quassy are freaking relentless (4012 ft of climbing).
4. I missed being involved in one bad crash by a minute.
5. I felt strong up to mile 45 ish. I think the hills started to take their toll.
6. I came within a couple of watts of hitting my target.
7. Nailed two bottle handoffs.
8. As I entered T2 I knew I needed to put some type of Vaseline on my chaffing, caused by the arm coolers, otherwise the run was going to SUCK. As I ran down the aisles to my rack I desperately looked for my savior. Thankfully the athlete next to me had some type of chaffing cream so I politely borrowed some.

I can say that my bike was a success. I will continue to dial in the wattage and nutrition to make sure I’m strong from start to finish.

T2 went smoothly as well. I could have taken off 20 seconds if I didn’t have to deal with the chaffing. As I left transition my legs felt good, I downed a Coke, threw some water on my head and was on the move.

I felt very comfortable starting the run. I was very aware that the first 3.5 miles were down hill and if I wanted to give myself a fighting chance on the run I couldn’t crush these early miles. As I neared the mile 1 marker I had to make a decision, how am I suppose to pee? Ill save you the details but I was able to sort of run and pee at the same time. For the first 3.5 miles I felt good, turn over was good, breathing was good and posture was strong, maybe I could make something of this? Then the hills came. I made sure to keep my cadence high and give it my best effort. My legs just couldn’t power up the hills. I felt very comfortable on the false flats, and down hills but I just couldn’t get it going on the climbs. As expected at about mile 6 the wheels fell off and I had VIP tickets to the Hurt Locker. In the words of Macca I had to “embrace the suck.” Despite not running the ½ marathon I can almost deem the run a success. I will make the necessary adjustments to ensure I’m not only running at Vineman 70.3 but that I’m also racing from start to finish.

Lessons Learned:

1. Despite dreaming of wearing polka dot jerseys, I am not a climber. Super hilly courses do not suit my riding strengths. A rolling to flat course is more suitable for my riding style. As such I should select my A races accordingly. (I will continue to work to make my polka dot dream a reality . . .I love climbing)

2. I need to work on my muscular endurance to ensure a successful run. Ill never have the race best run split but I can have Nathan’s best run split.

3. I can take a few minutes more off my swim.

4. Im confident that I will be race ready by Vineman. I’ll be racing from start to finish.

5. Racing longer distances is always humbling. Most athletes would get discouraged when they see stronger athletes; I just get hungrier and more motivated to improve as an athlete.

As usual. . .

Big Up to my coach/mentor/friend Matt of Organic Endurance.

Big Up to my wife, Melissa. She has surprisingly great words of triathlon related wisdom.

Big Up to Ignite Naturals for my nutrition.

Big Up to my support crew.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Back at it: Chapter 6: Patriot Half Race Report

Back at it: Chapter 4

Interview with RJ Boergers 2.0 - Challenge Roth