That was the quote of the weekend of Rev3 Quassy. It was said by my own mother on Friday at bike check-in, and in such a matter-of-fact kind of way I still laugh even time I think about it. I responded with,”You mean we all have good posture?”
“Yeah I guess. Y’all just walk like you don’t know how to bend.”
“Good posture. Core strength.”
“And then you get this weird look in your eyes every time you see another athlete…”
“We have to size each other up.”
“…or a bike. Like it’s some sort of thing you’ve never seen before.”
Well at least she’s perceptive. And for the record, those last two are how we compare wether a person relies on the ‘motor’ or the ‘chassis’. We know which one is more important…and cheaper to upgrade…maintain…you get the point.
After that extremely enlightening exchange between my mother and I, I checked in my bike and picked up my race bag. My brothers came with my mom and I to the race, and while they’re great…I’d rather stay in a nice quiet place to focus on the race the night before. I drove them back to their hotel, and then went to my room. I unplugged, and just sort of lazed around. I read some, watched some TV, and picked up that it COULD rain the next day, aka race day. I’m not a huge fan of rain, especially when I’m pushing it on the bike, and EVEN LESS SO this time around because I had crashed a few weeks before. (Truth: Mentally getting over a crash it FAR harder than getting through any scrapes and bruises from one.) But there was a chance it wouldn’t rain, and I’d just have to deal with the cold. Cold for me anyway coming from a week of triple digits and humidity in Georgia.
Race morning came and a slight peek through the curtains told the story for the whole race; gray, wet, and cold. A strange thing happened though. In the past Id have freaked out over the weather, hoping some sort of physic onslaught would change it in to more favorable race conditions. This Saturday though, I just kind of laughed and made some tweaks to my race plan. Less psi in the tires; easy on the turns; embrace the fact that you’re going to be incredibly uncomfortable; know that everyone else is stressing over the weather. (Control what you can, and adjust to that which you can’t). I packed up and headed to the venue.
Once on race site, Rev3 began to show how awesome they are. Through some ridiculousness in shipping, there were no swim caps in our SWAG bags at packet pick up. Rev3 made sure we had them for the swim, and a ‘swim cap easter egg hunt’ took place at each athlete’s rack. The Rev3 team had been there either crazy late the night before or really early race morning to make sure there was a corresponding cap on each person’s bike. In the pedal, in cages, anywhere they would stay. USAT rules state all swimmers must have a swim cap, for safety reasons, and Rev3 made sure we all had one by race start. Next is the volunteers. I don’t know what it is about Rev3 event volunteers, but they’re always so much more helpful and energetic and fun. They help add to the energy of the race, so kudos to all of them. Back to my RR..I got in a quick bike-run warm up, laughed about how ridiculously cold it was with the rain coming down, and donned the
l ifejacket wetsuit, then headed down to the beach. A close second for QotD was from my middle brother about the race and weather, “Are they going to chancel the race because it’s raining?” HA!…oh little brother…you have no idea the hell triathletes are willing to put themselves through.
At the swim start, even the water looked gray (yeah; reflection of the sky blah blah…shut it), making the chop from the almost-storm seem a little more intimidating, and trying to suck the life out of the race. Rev3’s emcee would have none of that, blasting music and keeping all the athletes excited (http://vimeo.com/43312165). I was the…3rd wave? $th? Anyway I went out and couldn’t really find my stroke. I had forgotten to FOGGLE my blueseventy goggles, and had to stop at the first buoy to unfog them. I kept swimming, moderate pace, and finally found my stroke about 400meters from the end… Gee! Thanks for showing up now!!…… For some reason my heart rate was insane going into T1, I thought I may actually crack a rib my heart was pounding so hard, but I stayed calm, stripped my wetsuit off, and headed out on the bike.
The Quassy bike course is my 2nd favorite, and only missing being my favorite because I have to travel to the race. The race has a couple climbs, and some fast downhill sections (48 mph fast 🙂 ). The only bad part about this race was that rain freakin hurts worse than any tattoo needle going that fast. That and I had to take the curves kinda easy. This year’s split was slower than last year’s, but my top speed was higher… lame. I came into T2 finally with my legs warm, but my feet and hands were numb and blue. You have to laugh; right?
I ran out of T2 and saw Laura, Rev3 Quassy volunteer extraordinaire, and said, ” I may have frostbite on my feet.” She laughed, and I just kept running. That right there was a first. I never talk to anyone in my races. I’m usually laser focused and pushing my body to the point where ‘uggg’ (which means ‘hi’ in triathlete race speak) is all I can get out. But I ran, and successfully negative split each mile. The run course is beautiful, and there’s a fantastic hill at mile 4 that easily adds :30 seconds to your pace. Being soaked you’d think maybe some of that slowing is from shoes that have become a pound heavier with water weight. Maybe for others, but not in my Pearl Izumi IsoTransitions (I love my shoes). There’s a long downhill in the last mile and a half or so. That’s where I heard an aid station volunteer say, “He looks awfully fresh…”, and where I realized I had taken the whole race somewhat easy. (Maybe the weather?) After that aid station, there’s a quick uphill where I passed three other athletes, and then a quick straight away to the finish. The finish was more like a swamp than a grass field at this point. I glanced behind me, didn’t see anyone, and jogged it through the finish. I remember seeing two of my little brothers running down the chute with me, but on the outside of the barrier. I kinda wish they’d had run in with me; that would have been a good profile pic (and yes; you ARE allowed to run in with your athlete at Rev3 events).
Anyway… I came through the finish, my little brothers pointed out that a few girls had come in before me (you should have heard them a couple seasons ago when a 16 year old USAT junior beat me…), and I just laughed. The boys went to the car, and my mom and I hung out in the NormaTec tent. I took off my shoes expecting some sort of blisters after 10k in the rain, and there was NOTHING (impressed), so I slid into the boots and talked to my mom. I felt as if I hadn’t even raced after my 20 minutes in them. I got up, we checked results, and UNOFFICIALLY placed 3rd in my AG. Cool! Unofficially… Awards were starting soon, so I ran to the car, grabbed my dry clothes, and ran back onto the field as the ceremony started. I ended up 2nd AG (3rd OA was in my AG), 33rd OA. A solid race even if I did coast through it, and a 4:xx course PR. That netted me some sweet hardware. The new Rev3 finisher medals and AG medals go together, making one awesome medal. Or a heavy medieval looking weapon.
Next stop on the Rev3 circuit is Portland! But first, I have a local sprint. It’s been about 8 months since I raced a sprint, and I’m excited to see how fast I can go wide open…