Rev3 Quassy Half – June 5, 2016
Carole’s Race Report:
Ah, Rev3 Quassy. For the months leading up to it, whenever I mentioned it in casual triathlete conversation I got the dramatic hissing intake of breath used to indicate fear and warning, then a comment that invariably involved the word: hills.
Quassy was an Ironman Lake Placid tuneup B race for me, so I tapered only slightly for it. In prep I’d also pre-ridden the course to familiarize myself with the terrain–that crazy steep patch at mile 11, the long several false summit grinder from miles 23-32 everyone talks about, and the immediately-after-a-turn climb at mile 52 right when you think you’re done. But then there are things you can’t plan for, like getting a wicked cold two days before the race–the full on can’t swallow, snot everywhere, full body ache kind. And the weather forecast calling for severe storms all day long. But after considering dropping out, I decided to just go and see how I felt race morning and best case scenario view it like a mental toughness steady training day. Woke up race morning feeling congested but otherwise reasonably alright so off we go!
Swim: Kind of a mixed bag. I got off to a good start and thought I was ready for the initial not-so-comfortable feeling that happens in the early crush of a mass start. But I guess between being my first race in a long time and the congestion making it hard to breathe, I wasn’t quite so ready and about 200 yards in my heartrate spiked and I couldn’t maintain my breathing. First time ever in a race I had to pull over for a minute and get it back under control, side stroking to keep some forward momentum. I considered bailing on the day right there, but figured I’d try again to get into my steady rhythm and plan to swim wide to avoid getting jostled too bad. I was able to do that, and the rest of the swim was almost without incident–got my goggles knocked off about halfway through but readjusted and kept going. Overall swim pace ended up being awesome for me–1:34/100 yards over the 2400 yards (ok so maybe I swam a little TOO wide) for a clock time of 37:36. Previous 1/2IM bet was 36:51 without stopping and in the pool I’m usually 1:45/100 yards. So I’ll take that.
T1: Comfort was the name of the day today and it was already raining/a bit cold so I took the time to put on my arm warmers, gloves, and socks. Clock time 4:34 (hides face in shame).
Bike: I used this as a test of nutrition, if not so much of pacing as I definitely took the hills harder than I plan to at LP. But, while I could tell my lungs and legs weren’t in peak form I felt reasonably alright, and none of the hills posed any real problem. There were several patches of drizzly to moderate rain and the roads were wet throughout, so unfortunately no bombing down them (my favorite part!!). The nutrition plan worked great, I took 1 bottle of 2/3 strength Gatorade Endurance/hour and in the first two hours 3/4 Clif bar per hour (300 cals total/hr), then switched to a half pack of shot blocks for the last hour. I fell one block short there stopping when I got a little burpy–maybe because of the full strength gatorade from the aid stations, but no problem modifying that way. I also had to stop a couple of times, once for a bio break, once because my brakes were rubbing–will have to figure out that mechanical before LP for sure–, and once cause I hit a bump while refilling my aero water bottle and it knocked the bottle off and it lodged under my back wheel. Another first, that bottle has always been solid in the cage! Ugh. Fortunately there was no one right behind me and I was able to stop without incident. Clock time3:17:19, pace 17.1 mph
T2: Comfort. Changed my socks to dry ones. Got heckled by spectators for doing so. Whatever. Clock time: 1:53.
Run: The run was great, and I was most nervous about it as I have not been training on hills due to tendonitis that had also limited my weekly mileage and eliminated speed training this whole season. That run course has 990 feet of elevation gain and couple of really steep hills with another looooong climb right at the end. Brutal. But, I tried to pace myself out, attempting to go easy at the start. My pace for the first 3 miles was a little faster than I was thinking I’d do, so slowed down after that to what I had been training at. I almost wish I hadn’t because I still had plenty of gas in the tank at the end though!! But, better to be conservative than to end up throwing up on the side of the course like I saw 2 people doing. Nutrition also went great on the run– I took Gatorade Endurance at most aid stations, subbing out water and a salt cap every ~3 miles, and had a half shot block per mile. The hills were no problem, and I never had to stop and walk. Overheating was certainly not a problem as it was already pretty cool but then started absolutely dumping water around mile 6.5. Crazy rain so hard I could hardly see where I was going. But, I carried on and finished feeling fantastic– if totally soaked to the bones. Clock time on the run- 2:02(9:24/mile pace–I was expecting to be closer to 9:45).
Overall: Huge props to the volunteers who stood out in the rain all day handing out nutrition. Race organization was awesome as usual for Rev3, the course was clearly marked, there were police details everywhere you’d want them, and they did a great job managing safety and communicating the contingency plans for the nasty weather day.
Lessons to apply to LP: Really anticipate the crush of the swim start and focus even more on steady breathing and relaxing. Bike tuneup. Ease back on the hills to smooth out wattage spikes. No changes to nutrition plan or run strategy.
Thanks for reading!