Rev3 Knoxville was only a couple days away and everything was going great leading up to it. Had a few key sessions with some short race pace intervals and they were being met. On thursday, May 2nd, after packing the car and doing a final short swim with ROCS we set the GPS for Knoxville, Tennessee!! Once again, my dad was with me for this race/road trip (what a huge help!). What a long drive! After 1.5 days we finally made it to our hotel, which was right beside the race expo. After checking into the hotel, we headed to the expo for one thing, get some Blueseventy Neoprene socks for the swim! During the week I was getting updates on the water temperature and when its at 58f you CAN wear the socks!! So I got them and glad i did. Did the regular check-in and headed back to the room to get ready for a short bike and run.
Headed out for a short bike on the course and loved it right from the start, minus the technical descents. Some good hills, haven't seen those in awhile. The run was also good as you run by the University of Tennessee then onto a path in the woods. That night we headed to the market square for some mexican eats, favourite food! Saturday was almost like every saturday before a race. Got my 30min on the bike done, 20 run BUT didn't get in the water for the practice swim. By then the awful weather had started and it was cold and rainy. I decided not to jump in, for the fear of getting a cold before the race, MAJOR mistake. No matter how cold or how bad the temperature is, if you have a chance to get in the water do it, even if its for 5min. The rest of the day was easy. Did the bike check-in under the covered transition zone (parking garage), wish everye race was like this. Then went to do a little shopping at the Oakley Vault and on our way back got the Hawaiian Pizza. Pizza down, in bed and getting ready for the next day.
Woke up to the expected cold rainy weather. No big deal, i've raced in this before and did very well. Got my bagel, PB and banana in with 2 cups of hotel coffee and headed to transition to get ready. Transition setup done now time to walk to the swim start. Good thing i had the socks on as swim exit to transition was around 300m. 2min prior to the start they let us jump in. Jumped in and right away i couldn't breath. Tried a few strokes, still couldn't breath. Started getting worried but I just stayed calm. After a few seconds of relaxing i was able to regain my breathing, 20 seconds later off we go! Like always my first 200m is all out and from there try and stay in a grove. I was in the first wave of three so it was easier to see the lead group, which i tried to keep in check the whole swim. Trying to not think of the cold and just to keep my arms going, I was out of the water in 30:25ish and off to transition. Happy with the swim considering the conditions.
Out of T1 with frozen legs, I was out on the bike to have a solid right. Within the first 15k I passed the guys in front of me but from there I was alone till the end of the ride. Lonely place and hard to race when you dont have anyone to chase. The entire ride i kept my power constant like we wanted, but those crazy technical wet descents sure made me grip on the brakes tight! Need to get better at descending. The Prologue was awesome!! Very happy with the change.
Heading into T2, i got the split from my dad letting me know 2 guys were ahead of me. The first i passed within 2k as he had already started to walk. The first 5k of the run was flat, but then the hills hit. All i was thinking about were my runs in the park and what Ryan Grant told me a few days before "Remember all the hard work you have done to get here". I kept a strong effort going. Just around the turn around I noticed the one guy i was hunting for first. Got up to him and on the uphill and passed him fast enough for him not to latch on. From there i kept the hard pace going though the hills and back to the flat and to the finish line! First win of the season! There was no way I was going to let someone catch up to me, so kept the hurt going the whole time. Although the time for the run was not stellar, effort was.
Here is a link to the pro race recap of the olympic distance (i did the half iron) http://vimeo.com/65537254
Getting to that line I had the "finally" feeling. Finally, I had a race were i was able to put everything together. Finally all the hard work has paid off. Finally I have that confidence I was looking for in racing. Training is different, racing is all mental.
After the race had some eats, go my prize and back on the road for a long drive back home! Huge thanks for all of the support to all my friends and to the volunteers of Rev3 who did an amazing job. Next up for me is Rev3 Quassy June 2. Will be my third time there and looking to kill all previous times!
Moving on, I've started my 3 month leave from work. NOW its time to get some REAL work in! Pretty simple, train your ass off and see what happens! Phil, my coach, and I have a plan and we are doing everything possible to meet it. If your up for a ride, let me know!