Once again Mother Nature has blessed another of my Rev3 races with rain. So with Rev3, I am 3 for 3…rain. Getting to the race was half the battle. As an emergency department supervisor I have a 24/7 staff, and when duty calls I have to answer. The day before the race, when I was supposed to be leaving for Williamsburg with a fellow triathlete, I was instead on the road to Manassas to work. Luckily I was able to leave at noon, getting me to Williamsburg around 2:30p. The Rev3 expo and T2 were setup on the College of William & Mary campus. I checked-in, picked up my race packet and swag bag, dropped off my bike-to-run transition gear, and met up with some of my Team Z friends, Tracy (T-Racer Girl) and Maureen (my roomie for the race).
Bikes needed to be dropped off in T1 that evening by 6:30 down by the James River swim start, so we caravanned down there…in the POURING rain. Seriously? Oh well. Bikes dropped off…check. Being friends with members from Team Z has its perks, especially when you get invited to dinner. Since, Team Z was represented by 150 triathletes at the race the Rev3 organizers played their part at dinner bringing with them two professional triathletes, Lauren Goss and Andrew Starykowicz. A special thank you goes out to SimplyStu for putting me on the spot by announcing by pre-race faux pas to the crowd while modeling the finisher medal.
Just before the Rev3 Knoxville swim start I decided to wind up my arms to warm up for the swim. My arm went back and knocked Stu right in the face. I felt so awful.
We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Williamsburg, just down the road from the transition area. The hotel itself was great, but our location in the hotel, not so much. We were in room 1, right by the lobby on the first floor. Not everyone has the same sleep schedule so sleep to not come easy, I’m not sure that it even came at all. You know those nights where you think you might have slept, but then you’re really not sure. It was one of those nights.
Good Morning Williamsburg! Once again poor planning on my part left me without my usual pre-race meal. I had a small cup of not-so-good coffee, a few bites of Maureen’s oatmeal, and thank goodness for my can of FRS. We headed out to the T2/Expo area to take the bus to the swim start. This is the point where I realized that the cup of coffee and the FRS were a bit too much for my itty-bitty bladder. Unfortunately looking for a porta-potty was out of the question since we were in what seemed like the longest-line-ever to get on the buses. I do hope that next year the transportation to the swim start is improved. I don’t believe there were enough buses operating to serve all of the triathletes, getting them to the swim start in time. People were still getting off the bus as I headed down to the swim start.
The swim temps were up and down during the days leading up to the race. With an official swim temperature just under 78 degrees I opted to wear my sleeveless Xterra wetsuit. The swim start was the most interesting start I have experienced. It was a beach start and as the horn sounded we all ran into the water and then preceded to walk about 100 yards out into the water before we could even start to swim. It was so shallow.
The current was pretty rough and kept pushing us off-course. Navigating around the first buoy turn was quite a challenge amongst the chaos. A lot of swimmers were struggling and pulled from the water, the current and the swells were too much. I kept chugging along. The movie Finding Nemo came to mind, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”
I finally reached the last buoy turn and brought it in, walking the last 100 yards. That was the longest 1.2 miles ever, especially since my Garmin said 1.79 miles, swim time 54:46. I was so happy to be on dry, well semi-dry, ground. The swim was rough, rougher and even emotionally draining for some. A fellow triathlete broke down in the transition area, and just as I was about to reach out to her, one of the awesome Rev3 volunteers was there for her to cry on his shoulder. Have I mentioned yet the awesomeness of all the volunteers?
What I would do differently?
Honestly, there was really nothing I could have done differently to prepare for that swim. I finished the swim, that is all.
My T-1 time was 5:24, it was another long run from the swim finish to the transition area. Normal transition, nothing too exciting.
The bike course was really nice. It was a nice mixture of flats, rolling hills, and a couple of climbs. The rain had stopped, but the cloud cover remained, which was nice. The sun made its appearance just as I was finishing up the bike. Course time 03:11:47.
What I would do differently?
Nothing. I feel good about my bike time and strategy for this race.
My bike-to-run transition was 02:60. After quick stop at the porta-john, I was out on the run course.
With the sun beating down after the rainy morning, it got really and really humid, really fast. My run started out so-so, but then had to slow a bit from the heat. I was also having an issue with my little toe on my left foot. I’m not 100% sure why it kept hurting, but I’m going to guess it was my new shoes. The course was hillier than I thought it would be. There was a steep hill that we hit twice since it’s a two-loop course. Luckily, I ran into a friend and Team Z’er on the course, Meghan. Since the race we refer to each other as each other’s angel. We really pushed each other through the course. The temperature kept climbing. I picked up ice and water from each aid station. I learned a trick that Mirinda Carfrae mentioned during an Ironman World Championship highlight special. She puts ice down the front of her tri shorts to cool down her core when she’s running. It really works! Thank you Rinny! Run time 2:21:32.
What I would do differently?
Do NOT wear new shoes to a race! I know better.
It was a great race and great course. The swim was tough, but I feel tougher for finishing it. I do hope that next year the transportation arrangements to the swim start area will be improved. I’ll be back to race again next year.