I had a blast at Rev3 Quassay Half Iron distance. What can I say?
How do you prepare for the first race of the season, and probably the most difficult half iron distance triathlon you have every run you ask?
Well, the weekend of the race, you fly down to Bethesday, Maryland for a pedagogy conference with a group of your colleagues. You sit in various hotel conference rooms listening to some amazing speakers—all while digesting sub-par conference food and inhaling enough caffeine to restart Jimmy Hoffa's heart. Then, the night before the race, you ride in a taxi for an hour and a half to fly into Connecticut and arrive at your hotel the evening before the race at 10 p.m. having had nothing to eat or drink since noon. It might not be the right way to do things, but I wanted to race, so I made it happen. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit. I think I did drink some water throughout the day and had some apple-cranberry cocktail on my plane ride.
The reason this race even happened for me was because of my incredibly patient coach and all of the incredible staff at Rev3 who made sure that I could pick up my race packet race morning. My coach actually brought my bike from central New York all the way to Connecticut and set it up for me in transition the evening before. How is that for dedication? To be honest, what is better than meandering through a race locale the morning of the race expending important energy. This is what happens when you are a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" athlete. Thank you Rev3!
I don't want to brag, but I am going to. I had the best swim time of everyone in the entire race, including the pros. I know, I know.... drastic improvement from last year. Read it and weep, friends. I finished first out of 1,067 with a 24 minute swim time.
What? You say you want some swimming lessons? Here is what you do...
You accidentally go off in the wrong wave, or should I say the right wave, but are racing the wrong age group. I was suppose to be in this group, but when they asked me my age race morning, I said I was 39, not remembering that I am actually racing 40-44 this year. Oops! It does not matter, I am telling everyone else that I averaged a 1:16/100m time. I age grouped up to the 40's this year!
Listen, if there is one thing I have learned after six seasons of running triathlons, it is that your i.q. is severely compromised the minute you walk into transition race morning. Suddenly, you develop what I like to refer to as S.I.A.D.H.D. or "Spontaneous Involuntary Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." I am not sure how it happens, but as composed as I tell myself I am prepping my equipment, I always seem to overlook the most obvious things.
This morning, the most obvious thing I overlooked became unbelievably apparent I made my way down the first descent of the day—mere seconds after I exited transition. As I made my way down the first hill, I couldn't help but think it might be a good idea to actually attach my front breaks. Oh, and that reminds me.... it might have been a good idea to actually pump my tires up race morning as well. C'est la vie. I had to quickly put my stupidity out of my head immediately or else I was not going to enjoy the rest of my day. So, I stopped my bike, attached my brakes, watched a number of people pass me before I made my way again starting at the base of a hill with no momentum. Awesome!
The bike felt pretty good initially, especially right after my swim. The course is pretty hilly and eventually, the fatigue from the weekend had caught up to me. I held back knowing that I was not exactly in mid-season form (I am not sure that I ever really get in mid-season form). By the time I hit mile 45, I was ready to get off the bike. The course is pretty grueling. So much so, that I broke one of my unspoken rules by going over 40 m.p.h. on my bike for the first time down a hill in years. I hit 46.5 m.p.h. I was taking everything the course was going to give me. No breaking down any of those hills. Although, I have to tell you that I could feel those crosswinds blowing on my wheels as I was motoring down those steep hills thinking, "what the hell am I doing?"
Oddly, after getting off the bike and running, my heart rate and legs felt really good. I thought, "holy smokes, you might actually be able to hold this pace." I looked down on my watch and I was averaging 8:30's for the first 4 miles. That was until ..... the first hill from hell. Oh, man. The hills on the run were relentless. You start running and think, the top has to be up here somewhere. Rev3 has a great sense of humor. They made a sign with Nelson from the Simpsons pointing at you with a caption underneath it that read "HA HA!" I had to walk portions of the run as my run fitness was still not where it I want it to be, but I have made some awesome strides in the past couple of weeks in improving my run. I ran the best 12.25 mile run ever this weekend on a really hilly course. Don't you love it when you go out there and your body just feels strong?
Don't I look incredibly happy?
I realized after racing Quassay that I had a lot of fun at this distance. What does that mean? It means that I am not going to race another iron distance event for the foreseeable future.
Because I love my children, and my life.
Seriously, I had a lot of fun racing Quassay and thought that despite not having put in as much training as I would have liked to prepare for this race (which is okay because I went out there to get one under my belt), I had fun out there. Iron distance is fun only if you know you have the time to train for it, As the bambini get older, the demands on the time that wifey and I dedicate to our children's activities (baseball, gymnastics, dance lessons, music lessons, hand gliding lessons—totally kidding with the hand gliding)—leave less time to train for a gigantic race. This is okay! I realized that I will have a lot more fun training for and performing well in Olympic and HIM distance races. Good thing Rev3 has both!
Father's Day bike/run!
I recently purchased a mountain bike and have substituting a lot of my one hour spins for mountain bike rides.
The verdict.... I love it! I got into biking in my twenties by mountain bike riding. When I was in college, I led an Adventure Club and one of the activities I planned every year was a trip to Snowshoe, West Virginia to go mountain bike riding. On one of my first dates with wifey, we went to Snowshoe to do some biking and had a blast. I actually got her out on the trails with me this week to do a little riding. Both of my boys are enjoying getting out on the mountain and doing some riding, especially my little man. How he motors with his bike up some of those hills is beyond me. He is going to be as strong as a mule.