Is driving 7 hours through three states to run an Olympic triathlon worth it?
It is if it is Rev3 Quassay.
I met up with my Trakkers teammate Kelly and her husband—whose name is also Kelly— about two hours outside of Quassay for lunch at a diner on the way there. Kelly, er, female Kelly and I both had the pumpkin pancakes.
Exasperated, this father of five ran back to the All3Sports store—wearing jeans on an eighty+ degree day—at the Expo and purchased a new pair of Louis Garneau tri shoes. Only problem was I had to put cleats on these puppies and make sure they were comfortable. I spent a good half an hour at Geneve Bicycle with my homeslice Chad getting my cleats squared away on my shoes. I brought my shoes over to Dave and his crew from Elite Bicycles in Philadelphia—the gang working support for the race.
Race Morning: I use to never be able to sleep before a race. That has all changed. I can sleep pretty comfortably the night before a race. I sometimes wake up a few times during the night for fear that I might sleep through my alarm. I set my alarm for 4:30, and requested an automated wakeup call from the hotel desk. As it turns out, I did not even really need one. It seems that my neighbors on the other side of my head board, through the thin wall of the hotel decided to wake up and have plenty of loud sex at 3:00 a.m. They continued their sex marathon for about an hour and a half. Needless to say, it was very difficult to sleep through the "Oh my God's," and "Yes... yes... yeses.," not to mention the insistent creaking of the bed. You would have thought that they were filming a sequel to Boogie Nights in that room.
I got my gear, went downstairs and enjoyed my race morning breakfast of granola, a handful of gel blocks, and Lemon Lime First Endurance drink. I got a ride in with the Kelly's in the morning. We all seemed pretty relaxed and ready to rock and roll. I think what kept me pretty even keel is the fact that I knew my knee was going to be a nuisance and not allow me to really push it on the run. I was not thinking about running fast, but rather, trying to minimize the pain I knew was coming.
THE SWIM: I got in the water about fifteen minutes before the swim start and swam about half way to the first marker. I felt pretty comfortable. Although, the morning of the race was the first time I tried on my new TYR Hurricane wetsuit. The lake that I usually swim in—Canandaigua—is not even open for swimming until Memorial Day. I felt pretty good the whole swim. It took me a little bit to get in a groove, but by the first buoy, I felt comfortable and relaxed. I felt like I probably could have pushed the swim a bit. The one down side was that my knee was hurting and I could not even manage a small kick. Who needs to kick? Swim Time: 28:44:616
T1: I had a great spot in transition. Because I downgraded from the HIM to the Olympic, the transition queen ended up giving me a place right at the end of the bike racks in the middle aisle. NICE! I ended up having a longer transition than I would have wanted—about 2:00. I think I spent too much time trying to get on my socks. I will go sockless the next race. (2:44)
THE BIKE: I absolutely love my bike. Have I mentioned this? I will say this about the Quassay course... it is hilly and challenging. My knee was a little sore from the start, and getting on the bike and pedaling did not help. I tried to put myself somewhere mentally to disconnect from the unpleasantness. I went out pretty conservatively—at least I thought so—which ended up being a mistake. I mean, in an Olympic distance triathlon, you pretty much have to put the pedal on the gas and go all out. I guess in the back of my head I was thinking, ".. hey, if you just don't go out real fast, maybe your knee will feel okay the entire race." FAIL. Bike split: 1:21:32/18.89 mph average.
T2: Yeah, did not even lace up my Avia's with speed laces. That was a mistake. It took me a little longer to tie my shoes, but I got out there. (2:07)
THE RUN: There first mile felt weird. The knee did not immediately hurt, so I was thankful for that, but it felt like I was still running on my bike clips. Transitioning to the run is always a weird feeling. Halfway through the first mile—mostly downhill—the knee started to hurt.... A LOT. My first 2 mile split I was running 7.46 min/miles, then I slowed way down to 9:19's the second half. This brought my run split for the 10k to 8:48. There was an enormous hill to climb at mile three. Between my knee and my run fitness suffering the last month, I could tell that I was not going to have the run I wanted. It was then that I immediately started thinking about cheeseburgers and cold beer.
POST RACE: Rev3 did an awesome job with the post-race goodies. There was a line to grab cheeseburger and hotdogs straight off the grill with all the fixins', macaroni, veggies, ice cream, drinks. I love watching some of these really fit women grab three cheeseburgers and pile up there plate and mow down everything.
Kiersten enjoying some Recovery Pump therapy!
I made it to the pro meeting at 1:30, where Michael Lovato was MCing. The cool thing about Lovato is that he is a pro himself and he asked a lot of really good questions of the pros, as well as some that received more than a few chuckles from the audience. There, I ran into Magali Tisseyre. My boy EJ over at crankskins.com did a cool custom number on her frame. I managed to steal a picture with her. I wanted to steal a picture with Miranda Cafrae as well, but as you can imagine, when you are the reigning Ironman world champion, there is a long line, and I did not feel like I wanted to to make her pretend that she was my best friend for one more picture. Although, I did not mind doing it with Magali:
Carlito's. I was so hungry the evening after the race that I ordered a giant antipasti plate AND my own personal pizza!
Here is a picture from our dinner at Carlito's. Chad's son is crashed on the lap of his wife Janet. Long day for the little man.
A BIG congratulations to all my Trakkers teammates for a fantastic race. Kelly ended up getting third in Athena (Woohoo!), and everyone had a terrific race. Looking forward to seeing many of you again at Cedar Point in September.
More soon. Stay tuned.