BIG shout out to Shitmano and their fantastic Shifting system! NOT!

More on that later.

All my race reports start with a view of my day before the race to help build the suspense excuses that will be needed at the end of the report. This race report is no different :)

Revolution3 Quassy Half (Volunteer, 1.2mile swim, 56mile Run, 13.1mile Run, Roller coaster rides)

Let’s start out with the 6:00am leave time from home with a truck full of kids and a belly full of coffee as we set out on a short jaunt to Lake Quassapaug in Middlebury, Ct. The trip was pretty uneventful with the requisite rain fall for most of the trip and Shiva being stuck on the back getting what seems to be customary dousing in precipitation the day before a race. Glad I don’t ride that bike in the rain…..

Shiva

Shiva



We rolled into town at about 10:30am and took the shuttle to the park since the roads were still closed to traffic with the Olympic race still happening. It was actually pretty neat riding on a school bus with my kids. It wasn’t even a short bus; I checked the windows tasted like a normal sized bus.

School bus

School bus

After we got off the bus, it started to rain. Joy! Glad we brought rain jackets……back in the truck. Whoops. So we made our way over to the volunteer check in tent and found out we weren’t really needed until about noonish. We wandered around the soaking wet expo and watched a few remaining racers finishing up. Then we moseyed around the park a bit planning our attack on the rides on Sunday after the race.

Park

Park

Our volunteer shift was for packet pickup and I was the one signed up. But, thanks to the rain the kids were more than willing (with some gentle persuasion from the parents) to help and be under a tent. Big thanks to LJ, Head of volunteers, for suggesting what turned out to be a perfect location for us. We were in charge of stuffing and handing out the goody bags. We were under an actual structure with a solid floor out of any wind and rain. Score! The next 4hours FLEW by in a whirl wind of people. The kids worked great for a couple hours opening boxes of visors, goggles, powerbars and pamphlets and stuffing all of it into bags for EACH racer. They had a good little assembly line going while Kelly and I worked the line of folks. I was/am proud of the A-Team as we had that part of the process running like a well oiled machine! After 4hours though we HAD to leave as I still had to register myself and get back to the truck to get Shiva and drive back to the park to get my bike checked in. Phew, that was a tiring process.

At 6:00pm we had a dinner date with the Rev3 teammates at a restaurant up the street. I couldn’t tell you the name of the place. But I can tell you the pizzas were great! Having a Margarita Shrimp pizza the night before a race shouldn’t be a problem, right? Who cares, this is supposed to be fun.

We got back to the HoeTell at 8:15pm and we were all getting crank. I snuck 4 kids into through the front door and we were in for the night. Max spotted a family of skunks outside our window in the edge of the woods that had made a home in a rock wall. That was pretty cool! A mama and her 5 not so baby babies waddling around. I even watched her ‘close the door’ so to speak after all the babies went into the hole and she dragged a pile of leaves in to cover up the opening.

We finally “convinced” the kids to quiet down and go to sleep a little after 9:00pm and Kelly and I were out just about the same time.

Race morning!
Up at 4:36am ate a Apple cinnamon PowerBar and drank a bottle of Gatorade. I was slightly concerned as my urine was far to colored and my head was pounding. Maybe I should have hydrated a little more yesterday? It’s all good I still got time! A couple more bottles of Gatorade were consumed along with a coffee from Mc’d’s and we were in route to the park at 5:15am. Not bad for a family of 6, including re-packing all the shit back into the truck.

T 0.1
Thanks to the UPS man not delivering in time, Rev3 had the good times of putting swim caps on everyone’s bike instead of being able to hand them out the day before. It’s only a 1000+ swim caps to layout…..
Anywho, I went in to Shiva, pumped up her sneakers, threw on a couple bottles of coke (since I forgot my gels at home, whoops), and positioned my sneakers, hat, sunglasses, and number belt. Told the rest of the guys on my rack Good luck I would wait for them at the finish line (I love trash talking ? ) and headed out of transition.
With the pro wave starting 5minutes late at 6:55, that meant my wave was now scheduled for 7:25. This allowed me plenty of time to get some more hydration in as well as dealing with the hydration I DID get in….

Finally;
The swim; 30:28 7th age 44th overall
What a freaking gorgeous morning for a swim! The water was high sixties and wetsuit legal but not blazing hot, perfect. I could see when my wave started to finally gather ‘on deck’ that there was a big number of them (turns out about 130), so I had to squeeze my short self up to the front before we got let through the gate so I would be sure to get on the front line. This swim starts on the beach with your ‘toes in the water’. I always love these starts as it gets your heart pumping running out into the water, far more exciting that treading water for 10minutes waiting to just put your face in and start swimming.
The final 15 seconds sounded, I squeezed off one last pee in my wetsuit, and then the airhorn sounded! It was on like donkey kong! I was able to high step (insert short leg comment here) pretty fast and noticed I was in the first place just as I dove into a very successful set of dolphin dives. Three dolphin dives and a glance to my left and I was in the lead. Not a super fast swimmer, but wetsuit aided I can hold my own. I was excited to see that I was first for the majority of the first leg of the triangular swim. It wasn’t until we started catching the waves in front of us (5minute gaps) that I saw any feet. Until that time I was able to see my competitors and keep the pace right. After we got into ‘traffic’ I lost site of my people and had to deal with going around a lot of folks. For the most part it was smooth sailing with the occasional floating mass wearing a black rubber suit that I would swim into. After having a good time spotting the second turn buoy that was positioned directly in the vibrant sunshine reflecting off the water it was home free for the last third. I still couldn’t see my competitors and didn’t know where I stood by then. I just kept my pace and tried to increase my speed without killing myself too much. I finally spotted the last red buoy and the Muscle Milk Brown archway and knew it was time to think about a bike ride.
This is what I look like after swimming for 30 minutes…. And dropping my brand new Blue Seventy goggles a few yards before.

swim exit

swim exit

T1 1:26 (moved me up 3 spots to 4th going into the bike)

This transition was a little slower than I had wanted as I didn’t follow my system. Even though I’m not much of a system kinda guy and I don’t really think about this part as such, there is a system that works best. As you can see from the picture, just after standing up from the water the top half of my Blue Seventy Helix with it’s bottom up zipper (LOVE that feature the most) is pulled down and the goggles and cap are left in the sleeve as I pull the suit off my shoulders. It’s really a technique that happens fast and on the fly. The next step, after running to your bike, is pulling the suit down all the way to the ground in one motion. I did these steps right. The next step is to put the sunglasses on and helmet WHILE stepping on the suit and pulling your legs out. THIS didn’t happen today for some reason. I decided to go with the pull legs out of the suit THEN put the helmet/glasses on. Either way, only a minute and change was used from water to bike seat. Not too shabby at the end of the day.

Bike; 2:38:17 21.23mph 5th age 18th overall
The mount line is always congested especially in a wave start that has some older wave starting in front of you. It works best to push your bike PAST the mount line and off to the side before hopping aboard. This is/was/will be my technique, and it worked just like planned. On the bike and ready to roll with my feet on top of my shoes. Knowing the first mile is all down hill and there would be plenty of time to safely strap my feet in after clearing some congestion. Feet in and ready to roll.
First mile + is downhill so it screams by fast, turn the corner and the pace drops for a while. NOW is when you have to fight with the voices in your head, the ones that say GO GO GO GO, and the ones that say DUDE 55 more miles of HILLS. I made sure to not feel the burn in my legs as that is the burn of matches and is in limited supply. The first 20 miles clicked off in a hurry with only a few hiccups like; loosing my second bottle of coke off the back and oh yeah, MY FUCKING SHIFTERS starting acting up! At first it was intermittent and my rear shifter would decide NOT to shift. Most of the time it worked out ok since it seemed to correlate with my want to attack a section. I thought of it as Shiva being my guardian over effort. I was passing a metric crap ton of folks out there including a couple teammates that were expecting me. ?
Then the turn to the major climb of the day. It’s only a couple miles. This is when Shiva decided I only needed TWO gears for the rest of the day. The Rear Derailleur decided it was done working for the day and left me with only the front shifter. I suppose a 50/13 or 34/13 is enough in reality, but certainly not ideal. I spent the rest of the day moderating my efforts between standing and seated as well as pedaling and coasting. It worked out in the end as my bike split was 5min faster than last year. Another issue I was faced with was nutrition as I was just about out of it thanks to dropping one of my two bottles of calories. The remaining bottle left me with only ~200 cals or so. I knew I would have to live off course for the rest of my needs. I grabbed a bottle of Gatorade…… I remember again why I stopped doing that two years ago for fuel, turned my gut sideways. I was able to switch to some water and grab a total of three gels from the last two aid stations. So bike nutrition was ~half a bottle of Gatorade, 20oz Coke, three strawberry banana Power Gels. The final tally on the bike ride was I got passed by one person that remained in front of me and that was in the final 2-3miles of the ride.
With all the issues on the ride, I will still chalk this one up to a small success since it was 5+ minutes faster than last years ride that didn’t have issues.

T2 0:37 stayed in 5th in age but moved from 18th to 14th overall….. (I have to check but this was fast)
I love my new Pearl Izumi Transition sneakers for this as I was able to skip the socks. Making the only thing I had to do was rack my bike, throw on my sneakers, grab my hat and number belt and hit the road running. I could probably do this faster as well, but :37 should be quick enough for this sport. In hind sight I should have taken the time to tighten the elastic laces a smidgen as my feet started to slide a little bit later in the run after they were soaked with water. This led to hot spots on the bottom of my feet that I’m sure cost me more time than I gained in T2…. Either way, I’m happy with this 37 second portion of the day.

Run Start

Run Start

Run 1:33:54 (ugh!)

Where the race is won/lost, in my book, is on the run. It doesn’t matter who wins the swim, it doesn’t matter who wins the bike, if you can’t follow it with a respectable run or have gas in the tank to respond to someone that come by you, your day is done. This is what happened/happens to me. I have to fix this.
This course is not a forgiving course with its gain and loss in elevation. The fist 3mile is shared with the first of the bike course so that means the first mile is downhill grade. This course rewards those that know its secrets. Today, I was saved by this knowledge. Knowing not to hammer that first mile just because it is downhill and you feel good pays out later in the run. I started off running within my limits as in the past I have BLASTED this first mile in 6:00 this year was 6:45, doable. I was watching the guy that past me late in the bike slowly start to drift up the road, I knew he was either gone or would blow up, neither of which were in MY control at the moment. There were a few others along the way that I picked off that were from early wave’s, but only one guy was coming back to me slowly. It was just before mile two (6:47) when I caught him. He was 35 and not in my age group. I went by him grabbing some 82Go water from the aid station and putting some in my belly and a bunch on my white hat to keep me cool. Thankfully most of this run is shaded. After that aid station I could hear that this guy was trying to stay with me. Since I knew he started at least 5 minutes ahead of me (found out it was 10 so I was golden) I decided to get some company for the run. I asked him if he knew what he was getting into. He said he was new to the course. I recommend he not burn his matches early as the road ‘kicks again’ just a mile or so up. He asked if he could tag along for the pacing info. I said sure. He ran with me for the next 10 miles. During this time we were picking off HIS age group left and right. I was basically telling him when to push and when to catch your breath as there was a hill approaching. It was nice to have something to keep my mind occupied with. The issue was even though we were passing a large amount of his age group, I was being passed by mine. Never a good thing. By mile 8 we finally crested the last hill for a few miles and were able to open up our legs again. At this time we had locked onto a guy in my age group and there was three of us running in a group. (my once one man wolf pack grew by one, and then another, making my one man wolf pack a three man wolf pack) We stayed together for a while as I set the pace as high as I could down the hills and back towards the expo area. We cut through mile 8-9 in 6:34 which was our fastest mile of the day. After we turned from the crowd near the expo we headed out and down a little more. This is where I was able to see my family for the first time since the start. They were working one of the corners at about mile 10. It was nice to hear their cheers. My feet at this time were starting to get sore from the hotspots on the bottom. I’m sure the fatigue was setting in, but this seemed to be the area of most concern. Our 3man wolf pack had dropped back down to 2man as the guy in my age group went up the road following the OTHER guy in my age group that had past us just back at the expo. The last two miles had me slow way down as my partner disappeared into the distance. I crossed the finish line in 4:44:41 happy to be done and ready for some rides!

Finished 8th age group, 24th overall (counting two relays in there as well)

Dense field as 2nd place overall was only 10minutes up the road from me. Maybe next year.

Tim