REVOLUTION 3 RACING!
Well as I expected Knoxville was going to be that tough Oly challenge that I like to throw at myself at least once a year. Short course racing is very intimidating for me especially knowing my swim is not my strongest event. Looking at the stellar women's pro field prior to the race start I knew that this was going to be a hard day for me and I was going into this race to support and represent the Trakkers Team at the First Rev 3 race of the year. What Rev 3 is doing is incredible and I wanted to be a part of it! It's an exciting new race series and it is first class. Next event I shall definitely bring the family as they had so much set up for the kids to do prerace and during the event itself. The race was well organized,clearly marked, and a nice scenic challenging course. The details that Rev 3 showed from the flowers for moms,to the boxed lunches and big slides set up for kids are superior to any other race I have done and a real nice touch!
Well to the race...all went smooth race morning. I had a great night sleep....rather unusual for me...and awoke at 2 in the morning to realise I had not even set my alarm. I was relieved to see it that I still had a few hours sleep and set 2 alarms and fell right back to sleep. I awoke at 5am to eat my new breakfast prerace routine of gluten free oatmeal, apple sauce and half a bottle of Ultragen which I sipped right up until race start.
My Kestrel all ready to go...
My name in lights...No 66
I headed out at 6am only to find out that it was in the 40's and freezing. We had found out at the pro meeting that it was going to be another non wetsuit swim which I was dreading. Being the eternal optimist I took my wetsuit down to race start anyway hoping that they would take the cold air temperature into consideration but they didn't.
So sadly we all headed down to the waters edge. I decided after shaking uncontrollably in New Orleans prior to race start that I was not going to do a warm up in the water as it looked to cold. I was not alone and a bunch of us waited on the deck until a few minutes before race start. The swim was pretty uneventful. The group split into two right from the start....I as expected ended up pulling the second group to the finish only to have everyone sprint by me at the swim exit. This was a very fast T1 and I realise I definitely have to remember that T1 and T2 is actually part of the race and not a time to catch my breath.
By the time I got onto my bike the 4 girls that had come out of the water behind me had taken off. I too also noticed that Olympic distance means pushing hard right from the start of the bike not just easing into a nice steady pace. Right from the start of the bike I was freezing. Now being in this position a few times before I am definitely learning that this cold racing and I just don't work together very well. As much as I tried to think warm thoughts my mind was not prepared for this scenario and it refused to co-operate. It wanted no part of this race and the result was extreme shaking, numb hands and feet, and loss of power. I was too distracted to even notice how hilly the bike course was. To those few age group guys that may have heard me moaning out loud I apologise as I forgot I was racing at times as I contemplated which sunny spot I was going to stop and sit and wait for a ride at. I decided it was going to be best that I just rode my bike back into town. In all my races I have ever done I am yet to DNF and I pride myself in that and yet the thoughts going through my head were exactly that. Entering T2 I was still thinking about stopping but then I saw Coach Paulo yelling at me to hurry up and I figured I had to try suck it up. So T2 was a blur I ran out yelling to Paulo that I could not feel my feet....of course he told me to run faster....and that's how it went. I ran as fast as my body would let me while running on stumps and by mile 3 when my feet thawed out I realised I had something rather large in the toe of my shoe. Ended up that it was a whole gel pack that I am very happy didn't explode in their but did make for some squashed toes. By mile 4 I realized I was going to make the finish of another race...even if not a perfect one! I was happy to run through the Rev 3 finish shoot in 11th place...sadly once again just out of the money!
All in all a great experience. Bonus of the day was that Team Trakkers pulled out a big win in the Trakkers versus K-Swiss Challenge!
Thanks to Fred my home stay for these great pictures....
This is a classic finish between second and third place....Terenzo and Lieto
I thank my wonderful home stay Fred and Ali for all their hospitality. They are two great people who opened up their beautiful home to me and Dede and they made my stay in Knoxville that much better! I look forward to seeing you both again and good luck with your racing Fred and your new baby!