Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Quassy! Quassy! Quassy! Oy! Oy! Oy!

Drenched.  Sodden.  Soggy.  Sopping.  Soaked.  It was a wet one.

Quassy swim
The swim went well.  I felt good.  Found clear water and caught up with slower swimmers from earlier waves.  The course was a little funky.  They had many buoys on the course but only two of them were turn buoys.  The others were "guide" buoys that you didn't have to keep to one side or the other.  When I rounded the second turn, I sighted the finish arch and swam towards it.  But the closer I got, the more it seemed like there were fewer swimmers around me.  Then I noticed I didn't see any one coming out of the water.  Not a good sign.  Then I realized I was swimming toward the starting arch, not the finish. You can see in my gps where I realized my mistake.  Luckily, they weren't that far apart.  According to garmin, I swam an extra ~100m.

The ride was tough.  Not just because of the elevation (which is decidedly the toughest ride I'll have all season).  I got overtaken by a few girls in my age group in the first few miles and that was disheartening.  And then the rain.  It had started and stopped all morning, but it seemed just as I hit the BIG downhill the skies opened up.  The bike was treacherous.  At 56 degrees and max speeds in the high 30s, I got cold, even with my jacket.  The bike was also tough because I'd been thinking of this race as a proving ground for all the training I've done since October.  To get out there and not have it go well undermined my confidence in that training.  Really, I just wanted to be off my bike.  To the point that when I returned to Boston, I put Shelby (the tri bike) in the basement and opted for the old Stallion for my recovery ride.

The appeal of throwing in the towel after such a disappointing ride was strong, but I didn't go to this race to quit.  I got running.  I had been caught by two girls in my age group right at the end of the bike, so they were my first goals.  I caught the first one right outside of transition, and the second before the first turn.  From there I started thinking about redemption.  My mantra was "I am going to salvage this race."  At mile two, there was a little out and back, and I saw my teammate J.  Sorry, J, but there was a target on your back from that point on.  The mantra became "Four miles to catch J," then "Three miles to catch J," finally, "Two miles to catch J."  And at mile five, I caught her.  We ran together for a bit, and then I moved on, up the last hill and to the finish.

I hit the finish line and burst into tears.  The combination of a disappointing ride and the pride at having a killer run was overwhelming.

In the days since the race, I'm feeling better about it.  The bike was wet, and the competition was fierce, but those things are out of my control.  What I could control was my approach to that final run, and I'm really proud that I dug deep and busted out a near PR on a hilly course.

A few parting thoughts about the race itself.  This is the first Rev 3 race I've done.  I really like the idea of another organization giving WTC a run for their money, getting a stacked pro field out there and running a super fun race.  I thought they rolled with the punches pretty well (not much you can do about the entire finishers chute becoming a giant mud pit, or your distributor not getting you the swim caps on time).  I have one suggestion for improvement though.  Rev 3 needs better signage.  During registration it was not at all clear that there were 3 steps, where the next step went, etc.  As a spectator on Sunday, there were no signs to the satellite parking, and when I did find it and took the shuttle back to the course the pick up was different from the drop off, and again no signs.  In transition, although this individual rack spots were labeled with both number and name, the ends of each rack were not, and it was challenging to locate which rack your bike was on.  So, yeah, overdo it on the signs.

And now it's time to go ride some hills.

2 comments:

Unknown June 5, 2012 at 12:07 PM  

You persevered and then some. And that is awesome in its own right.

jv

Shannon June 5, 2012 at 6:24 PM  

i've had a race like that where it felt like i was getting pelted on hills... not awesome. but the way you took charge on the run despite the tough bike is definitely something to be proud of! trust in the training, you're in a good place for the next race :)

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