Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rev3 Quassy Half Rev- Race Recap 2013

As I packed things up on Friday night I was much more calm, than I have ever been packing for a half iron. I said to D- this is my 4th, if I don't have this packing down yet I'm not sure when I will. I packed my tri bag with my race clothes and such. Both wetsuits- just in case, another whole bag for all my food and fuel and of course normal people clothes.

The car was packed and we headed to Quassy. We got there around 1230, just in time to meet up with friends and get my shake out swim and bike done. It was a hot day. We had this freak 5 days or so in New England of 90 degree days, the weekend before I did my ride and run it was 45 and RAINING! COME ON NEW ENGLAND?! Jen told me it was looking like a high of 80 tomorrow- well at least it wasn't the 95 my car was reading at that point Saturday. I drank water and water with endurolytes. Made sure to eat a good sized lunch after the swim and bike. I held off on bike check in till the last minute- I didn't want Blanca to be in the heat of the day. D went for a run and I ate my packed dinner. He came back gassed and drenched, CRAP! It was almost 8 and it was still that hot and humid. Pass the water?!

Had my night before the race nightmare- something about my race not having handlebars when I got to set up transition in the morning. Who knows?! Plan was to be outta the hotel by 430- transition opens at 515. I got up hungry- had my oatmeal, bagel and a banana. Had my Nuun kona cola- works instead of coffee for me on race day. We got a great parking space- D was going to be able to sit in the back of my car and watch the pros. SCORE!

I laid out my transition- did a little obsessing and when I caught myself I knew it was time to go. I sat in the back of the car while D went and scoped out pro transition layouts. I felt my nerves get going coach said it was adrenaline. I got hungry again and had the other banana (well some of it). Then it was time to get on my wetsuit and head to the water. They changed the way to get to the water so I said a goodbye to D and headed in. D made a great suggestion go get in the water swim a bit it will relax you. I took my gel 15min before the start time, and splashed around a bit.

Swim- I watched the pro men go, then the pro women. Athenas were next with the 45+ women, thank god no men this year! I put myself in a spot at the front with a good sight to the buoys. Said a quick hello to Leslie and soon the 10sec countdown went. I dolphin dived. Thinking wow I am glad I did a bit of practice of that in my last few swims. It felt good. I got clear water and went. I saw a couple women ahead of me I tried to jump on feet but I didn't want to gas myself out. I started to think oh man maybe I should have done a few more swims?! I made the first turn at the buoy- then CRAP I can't see anything! The sun was right in our faces. Okay try your best- I asked a paddle board for where?! They said left! So I went. I think I stayed pretty much on course it was tough with the sun and the YELLOW buoys! I hit the last turn buoy and checked my watch 23- YES right on plan. I had a couple women near me and then they were gone. I must have turned on the motor for the last part. I came out of the water to screams from friends and D got the whole transition area yelling my name! I was like woah I'm gassed a bit. Slowed down for a second and D screamed- Great swim 33 min. I think hearing how fast it was made this next part happen- I threw up! Right in my mouth! I choked it back down. I didn't want anyone to see. D told me I beat pro women out of the water! D was like keep moving keep your momentum- then next breath its okay take your time. I was like which is it?! Do I need to get moving or slow down?! Eh eff it I'll get on the bike. Goal: 35 Last year: 36:26 ACTUAL: 33:48 (CRAP!)

Bike- I took down some Heed as soon as I could to get the puke out of my mouth. I tried to settle down on the bike. I ate a sleeve of Clif Blocks to try to get something in my stomach. For about the first 15-20 mi every time my heart rate got over 175 I felt light headed. I kept trying to get Heed in me it was the only thing that seemed to help my stomach feel better. I hit the first aid station and got my aero bottle refilled. I made sure to get my 2 salt tabs an hour in me- as best I could. I hit the hills- the nasty ones and knowing the course I knew what I was in for 25-35 are tough.  I made sure the whole ride to optimize my downhills- I saw my watch hit 40mph a few times. I guess I hit about 44 on on decent! Somewhere before the out and back at 40- Leslie passed me we chatted briefly on the pass. I started thinking about wanting white rice. I don't know why I guess I thought it would help my stomach. I tried to finish my second bottle of Heed before getting off the bike. I made sure to finish the second sleeve of Clif Blocks. At every aid station I grabbed a bottle of water- filled the aero bottle squirted it on me, and finished off the last of it. I could tell it was starting to get HOT. I stretched my legs a bit as I came up the last hill- yes the last 2 mi of the bike are up hill. I could feel the cramps starting in my legs. I had another salt tab. Goal: 3:30 Last year: 3:58 ACTUAL: 3:39  Okay still pretty close to the goal....

Run- I came into transition and I felt it- my legs seized. Oh no- okay spray with sunblock again. Grab everything and go. D told me to get some coke I told him I was better than last year but not great. I felt tired- what?! Okay coke will help. I headed off on the run and within the first mile my legs felt awful. Okay walk a bit- it will go away, oh get some salt in you. OH CRAP- Where is the bag of salt you put in the handheld? One of the gels and the bag of salt tabs GONE! Aid station at mile 1 I grabbed 2 salt tabs. My stomach couldn't take it- I ran walked my way to Aid station 2. Thought of what my coach had said before my first 70.3- what is causing your stomach pain- do you need to eat? go to the bathroom? Oh wow maybe that's it I had to pee like as soon as I got on the bike but couldn't get myself to relax and pee. Thinking this might fix it I waited for the porta potty. I knew it was a while till the next aid station. I tried to get myself to run- I willed myself. As soon as I would get a good pace going my stomach would cramp then I would feel like I was going to puke again. Right before I hit the next aid station- which I think it somewhere between 4-5 I took off my sunglasses and pulled my visor down. I thought of a friend's blog post about doing that at an Ironman, and it worked. I could barely see a few feet in front of me. I choked down a Clif shot as I came to the aid station. Grabbed water, ice and put my head down again. I was able to muster a shuffle with my visor down I couldn't see the coming hills. I started singing Radioactive over and over in my head. Okay keep shuffling. Soon mile 5 and 6 passed- somewhere in there I lifted my head just in time to see my friend Eric on the other side of the road walking. We exchanged encouraging words. I wish I could tell you about miles 6-10 but they are a blur. I know I wished that D would have been out on the road at 9 when we came close to the park but I am glad he wasn't because I might have considered giving in. I saw Sarah run by in a blur (damn you relay people). I told her how horrible I felt but she said I looked good. Guess I had a good game face on!  I knew there was one more out and back stretch. I hit the aid station and asked for ice. The guy handed it to me but my hands were full- I used my finger and pulled my shirt open for him to stuff it down the front! He was blushing I told him I don't care thank you! I kept trying to shuffle I looked up on the loop and saw my friend Jen. She gave me the head shake of not my day. I ran walked and Jen caught me. She said she puked in the run. I told her about my puke earlier. Both of us had great Quassy Redemption plans. And from there at mile 11 we started running/walking/pushing each other and I started to realize maybe the heat and the day got to me. Jen started to feel sick again and I put ice on her neck- hoping to help her feel better. Somewhere in mile 12 we realized after talking via twitter and facebook about our plans to do better at Quassy this year we were going to finish together! I looked down and saw my run time from last year tick away- well so much for that! I saw a girl go by and thought to myself- I bet she is another Athena.... I wish I had it in me to catch her! Let's just try not to eat away at all the gains from the swim and the bike. Jen and I crossed the finish arms up together! Goal: 2:20 Last year: 2:46 ACTUAL: 2:57:16

Last year 7:26:26 Goal: 6:30 ACTUAL 7:15:26

When I finished I hugged D thanked him for his support with my tough day. I told him I tried as hard as I could I just couldn't do it on the run course. I wanted it so badly. But I think my swim used up a lot of my race pennies and the bike took a few more and by the run I had none left. I knew while I was out there I WOULD finish! I wish I could have put together the race I wanted to have. The swim and the bike went fairly well. The run- the wheels fell off the bus. I am happy I fought through. I learned a lot about my mental toughness! I was so sun burnt, and mentally spent. I had taken time off from last year but didn't have the race I had trained for or the race I thought I was going to have. I had convinced myself on the run that even a minute off last years time would be better and I couldn't count on getting a place in Athena's that was all about who showed up on race day. My phone was full of messages congratulating me on my race on such a tough day. And somewhere in there came a message from my parents- hey you took 3rd! I had to go check the timing tent- I didn't believe it. I was so humbled to share the podium with these ladies! They had great races!

Rev3 always does pretty awesome swag for their age group winners. Not only does the finisher medal nest nicely into the age group medal. I took home all this too.Well Done Rev3!

I am not going to lie I have been beating myself up a lot about the race I wish I had! I have had my post race brain as usual. But this week- I have been EXHAUSTED. Like don't wanna get off  the couch, put your head down at your desk EXHAUSTED! D sent me this pic this is how I felt at the finish of Sunday.I hope to be back to myself soon... Talking with my coach today will help I'm sure!


  1. holy crap. you're amazing. what a great recap and a WONDERFUL job at the race. it wasn't easy but you got through it! congrats on making it to the podium, juls.

  2. Kick ass job! Don't beat yourself up on things you can't control. The weather was brutal for every one out there. It was not a day for PRs, but you still improved on last year. That is something to be celebrated.

  3. Great recap- it was a beast of a hot humid day and none of us were ready for it! You had an awesome race despite the challenges and I wasn't lying when I told you you looked good at mile 11. You were one of the very few I saw running! Way to go :-)

  4. You're such a rockstar. Way to power through the terrible weather!! And beat a bunch of pros in the swim too!! Congrats on the podium finish in a 70.3!!!!

    Also, I love that you packed "normal people clothes"!! Because triathletes are anything but normal!