Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rev3 Maine 70.3 - That time when I killed it. (Another guest blog. By Eric.)

Coming into Rev3 Maine I was feeling more confident then I ever have coming into a 70.3. Before my previous two 1/2 Ironman races I was focused mostly on survival and/or getting through them intact (my last one was a tune up for the Full Ironman that I did last year). This time though, I was feeling strong and surprisingly fast. I had a couple of big bricks in training that were "break through" workouts for me and had me feeling really confident coming into my goal race for the year.

When the athletes guide came out, about 10 days before the race, I saw that Rev3 had some nice aero wheels available to rent. After discussing it with my coach and my exclusive dating partner fiance future wife (don't ask, it's just our thing), I decided that the price was worth it since I was feeling good, and this was my goal race for the year. Might as well take out all the stops.

Isn't he sexy? His name is Fabian.
The downside is now I *really* need to buy wheels...
Also, I totally look legit!

The week of the race I was also way ahead of the game in preparations and getting things ready. I really wanted to do well in this race and since I felt strong enough to actually *race* it, I didn't want to leave anything to chance. I headed down to check-in, get my wheels and any supplies that I needed the instant that the Expo opened on Friday. By Friday night everything was together clean and packed.

My awesome friend Magoo also lent me his sweet aero-helmet.
And it totally matched my kit. PIMP!

All my numbers, ready and waiting.

Saturday afternoon we headed down to Portland to check in and meet my mom, my sister and her family, get Sara checked in with her team (Pace Booty), and for me to check Fabian into transition. The expos at big races are a lot of fun because you get to see all of your tri buddies you haven't seen in a while (since the last race) and all of the athletes that you know mostly only from the intertubes. After chit-chatting and socializing for a bit we were off for our pre-race dinner. Nothing like Olive Garden for some generic, GI friendly, Italian food! After dinner it was time for an early bed time due to an early start time in the AM.

First a little background information. I have a twin (his name is Andy). He also does endurance sports. We have a death feud when it comes to competing for things. He started doing tri's two years before I did, and that is one of the main reasons I started. I hated being on the other side of the fence and I wanted to compete with him. Also, our buddy Ben started doing tri's at the same time as Andy. So, since I started doing tri's three years ago, we have had our own race within each race. Our overall placing and times mean very little, however, our place among each other is a hard fought battle worthy of the Olympics. There are a few other people who we also "race" against, but they don't really know they are competing with us. But we totally keep score. I bet they do to. ;-)

Race morning. With an early 6:24am swim start it was a very early wake-up call. But as we had gotten everything ready the night before, we were quickly off to the race. Because we were so organized and early we got a killer premo parking spot right near transition right on the run course! An epic spectating spot! I added the needed nutrition to my bike, made sure the tires were primed and off to the swim start we went.

The Swim: 39:47 (21st of 63 AG)

Andy and I with Crack. We look so pretty pre-race

When I went for my warm up swim (more of an acclimation swim then a real warm up) the water was cold, but not nearly as cold as everyone made it sound. Maybe I am used to the cold Maine waters? Anyway, after a quick dip we lined up for the swim. While I was excited to race, I was not terribly excited for this swim. I have a tendency to drink water when I swim and so in salt water that generally does not do my stomach any good at all. So, between that, my general lack of love for the ocean and waves, and that all people were doing in the weeks before the race was talking about how sharks were totally kicking around Maine waters, I was less then excited for the swim. 

It was a beach start, and on the horn we were off. I lined up generally in the middle of the pack, self seeding as a solid but not spectacular swimmer. Right away on the swim I started to get beat up a little. Sandwiched between two guys who were taking turns smacking me, getting kicked by the guy in front of me, dude behind me thumped my leg a few times. It was not an awesome start. Adding insult to injury I got pushed way to the inside (it was a counter-clockwise rectangle, so I was way to the left). I have a mean left hook when I swim also. Coming into this race I have been working on figuring out what the problem is, and I thought I had nailed it down. However, my hook came right back just when I needed it the least. Ugh. The first turn buoy took *forever* to get to. That and a few gulps of lovely sea water and my mental focus started to break down. I was having a bad swim, and I knew it. I foresaw GI issues, and terrible failures for the rest of the race. My "A" race. Shit. But, I managed to bring it back together. 

"Just relax and swim, so you'll be down a few minutes, NBD. Tri's are not won in the water, but they can be lost in the water, don't lose it, just relax and swim."

And that is what I did. I gave up trying for a good swim and just wanted to get through it as smoothly as I could. And then it was over. As soon as I could touch I stood up and walked. Probably a bit too soon, but not terribly early. There was a long run from the water to T1 so while still in about ankle deep water I took off my wet-suit to run better. I feel like I was the only one to do this, but I also feel like it was a way better idea then to run in a stiff heavy wet-suit. Who knows.

T1: 5:03  (Up to 20th AG)
As I was running by transition to the entrance I saw Andy at his bike. Nice! I didn't lose that much! Generally, I am good in transitions with my times usually right up there with the top dogs. This time, I took my time a little, got most of the sand off of my feet before putting on my bike shoes and heading out. I still managed to pass a someone in T1 which makes me happy.

Transition was effing long.

Bike: 2:48:09 (Down to 37th)
The bike is probably my weakest event overall. But, it is also the event that I have improved at the most. So, I was happy to be on my bike. The first half of the course is slightly up hill and then you come back down the second half. I tried to keep this in mind and not look to much at my speed or average speed knowing that I would make up the time on the way back. I just kept telling myself to keep within my self. At about mile 10 I saw Andy.

Now, I have seen Andy on the bike one time before, during Olympic (ish) event and I passed him about half way through the bike, and then ended up paying dearly for my first half speed and was consequently motored in the last 5 miles of the bike and then murdered on the run. So, when I saw him I briefly thought of that and was panicked for a second. Again, I calmed myself down and did a full body checkup and told myself that I was totally within myself and pushed on (dropping Andy like a bad habit in the process ;-) ). 

What's your price for flight
You've got him in your sight
And driving thru the night

Then I started to have fun. I have never really been fast enough to keep up and ride with people. I usually just get motored the entire bike, it is the downside of having a fast swim. But I managed to keep up with people and have fun! I played leap frog with a few people pretty much the whole time and even managed to pull away from them at the end. A few times I started to worry that I was having *too* much fun and that I was going to pay for it on the run, but I checked in and seemed to be doing ok, so I cruised on.

T2: 1:45 (Even 37th) 
T2 was uneventful. A bit slower then normal since I put on socks but not terrible. I saw Sara in transition waiting for Kellie to get back from her ride. She cheered me on and told me I was doing awesome (which I totally already knew, duh).

Run: 1:57:39 (Down to 33rd but then back up to 36th)
The run started out nice and solid. I had to talk myself down a bit so I didn't go out too fast. I had eaten well on the bike but I wanted to keep the calories flowing so at each aid station I made sure to walk a couple steps and at least get down a glug of Gatoraid, a gel or some cola. There were some minor hills in the beginning/end of the out and back run with a long stretch of pancake flatness between. I got into a good rhythm and ran as best as I could. As I got closer to the turn around I kept thinking that Sara would cruise by me at any second. But she was no where to be seen. When I rounded the turn around I amused myself by trying to figure out how far behind me she (and Andy, and Ben) would be based on what mile I saw them at. Apparently over 60 miles into a 70.3 mile race you can't do math because when I saw them I thought they were *WAY* closer then they actually were. After seeing everyone and yelling and cheering them on, it started to get hard. Around mile 9 it really began to get rough. I started walking more though the aid stations, I stopped to pee in the woods. It was getting hot. I hit a bit of a low place. I know when I hit the lows because I start to do the math in my head to figure out how slow I can go and still manage to make my goals. This is not an ideal situation or plan. Just before mile 11 there was the start of the hills and I walked a bit on the very first one. I saw my plans of a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon going out the window.

"Damn it! Just run you asshat! It's your mind giving up not your legs!"

So, I started running. It was a struggle but I pushed as hard as I could and I managed to get back on pace and finished strong leaving everything out on the last 3 miles.

I was a bit shaky after stopping and got a seat and some ice from the nice med volunteers. Soon after I got up and started walking around a bit to try and find my family Sara, Jules and Kellie came happily running across the finish line! Sara having (as you will hear very soon) kicked the run in the teeth!

Cooling down and trying to look alive.

I am super happy with my race and that I was able to actually "race" a 70.3! Now to think about my goals for next year (and what wheels I am going to buy for Fabian ;-) ).

Quickly working our way to endurance sport power couple status :-)


  1. We are going to be the #1 athletic power couple ANY MINUTE!
    Very good job on an excellent blog post. And an amazing race. And on being so damn attractive.

  2. What wheels you're going to purchase? Those Reynolds would make a good upgrade...feel free to e-mail me if you have questions. Just my first name AT rev3tri dot com.

  3. Nice! Way to go, Eric!!! Has Andy stopped crying yet?

  4. Great job! The best part is how happy you were about your race! I love that feeling!

  5. Your blog is really helps for everyone, who search any kind of wheels accessories etc. Thanks a lot..

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