Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Triathlon 2010

When I woke up Sunday morning before the race, I was already writing the blog post in my head about how much triathlon was not for me and that I was ready to either return to running or ready to move on with my life.

You see, it started Saturday morning with the team meet-up. I'm quite intimidated by my teammates. They are studs! They are wearing their kits; my kit is wearing me. I keep quiet and just absorb the moment. Where they rock in triathlon, I totally rock jumping pictures. :)

Photo by Eric Willis

After some mandatory team commitments, Dave, Rachelle, and I headed down to the river to get in a practice swim. Although I swim decently, open water swims are my nemesis. Being in the deep water scares me. And this practice swim was no different. The temperature was just cold enough to take my breath away and seeing the bridges ahead that I would have to swim under and bike over were FREAKIN' ME OUT!!! I had to stop several times to calm down.

Thanks Rachelle for taking this picture. Look at that bridge behind us!!!

Then Dave and I went out and drove the bike course. It was hilly but didn't seem to scare me as much as maybe it should have. Finally we checked in our bikes and rested the remainder of the day.

Sunday morning I was nervous, but I felt better once I began to set up transition.

Photo by Eric Willis

Rachelle, Dave, and I headed down to the water and got ready for our swim. Dave started 5 minutes before us and then it was our turn. I got in the water, got comfortable, found my position (slightly back and to the far left), and was ready to go. The first part of the swim was rough. I had trouble finding my position and often found myself stopping for a stroke, letting people get out of my way, and then beginning again. Once I made the turn around it was smooth sailing. I found a good rhythm and cruised to the finish. After rolling like a seal onto the dock (seriously funny--wish there was a picture), I peeled off the top part of my wetsuit to see my watch say 24:XX. Holy sh!t! I was flying! My goal was to go 30 or better and I accomplished that. The course may have been short; the current may have been strong; anyway, I'm taking it.

Total swim time - 25:41 (1:42/100m pace)

We don't need to talk about transitions. There is room for improvement. :)

I felt good on the bike, surprisingly. I kept the cadence high, spun up the hills (passing A LOT of people--it's awesome to be a featherweight), and flew down the hills. Seriously, I hit 30 mph at one point. Scary!!! I kept within myself and didn't worry about pace or that I was all alone by the end. I was doing what I could do and that was enough. The bike was one mile longer than advertised so my pace wasn't really what was stated. I'm not sure what I could have done differently to be faster, but Coach and I have been talking about ways to improve.

Photo by Eric Willis
Me and my teammate Jamie cruising along at the beginning of the bike.

Photo by Eric Willis
And now all alone at the end of the bike.

Total bike time - 1:33:37 (15.9 mph, actual pace - 16.5 mph)

When I started the run my feet were blocks of ice. It was COLD on that bike. I could barely feel my feet when I started the run. I took the first mile conservatively right around an 8:00 pace. Then in that second mile it felt like there was something stabbing me in both my shoes. What was inside my shoes? I stopped and took off both my shoes to find out what the problem was only to discover it was actually the feeling returning to my feet. Pins and needles. Even with that break, I still cruised the second mile right around a 8:00 pace. After that I was flying. My pace was around 7:30s and I was feeling great. At one point I passed a girl who said, "damn, girl! You're flying." Goal achieved.

Photo by Eric Willis

After the turn around I started to hear someone breathing heavily behind me. I turned around and he said to me, "I don't have the energy to pass you." But, he did come beside me and talked to me for the last mile and a half. His name was Chuck and he was such a gentleman. When we arrived at the finish he told me to go ahead of him. He said I had paced him and he wanted to show his appreciation by letting me finish first. Super sweet! Thanks Chuck!

Total run time - 48:25 (7:49 pace)

Total time - 2:53:43

I set a new PR by about 17 minutes and the course was one mile longer. Of course, this is only my second Olympic triathlon. Overall, I'm very happy with the way I performed. I kept my mind in check which helped my body to perform the way it was supposed to. Sure, I may have been one of the slowest Team Trakkers members, but I faced my demons head on and finished confidently. I'm not quite ready to give up triathlon yet. :)

Some thoughts about the race itself...
  • Knoxville was a fantastic host city. Dave and I love going to races where we can walk or take public transit and can be part of the event itself. We found everything to be close by and convenient. The people were friendly, the food fantastic, and the city welcoming.
  • Although there were some glitches with the Trakkers devices themselves, mine worked for the race and looks like my race played out well online.
  • For once I was happy I didn't freak out in the water, but I would have liked to have seen more patrol on the water. Even if I wanted/needed to hang off a surf board or kayak, I didn't see many around.
  • I would have liked to know where the transition ins and outs were and where the timing mats were for the transitions. I just clicked my watch randomly in and out.
  • Rev3 still has some bumps to work through as they progress as a company, but for a first time race using a new timing system and hosting a big event, I though they did a good job. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing them again in Cedar Point. (Dave's doing it; not me).


Mary IronMatron said...

Congrats!!! What an awesome PR! Amazing! I love the Trakkers outfit, too. The green is styling. Love it. You had a great race, and an esp. great run! Congrats!

jeff said...

great job, mer! nice pr and nice jump in the team photo!

where is the IM that you're doing? isn't it in louisville or knoxville or someville? does the IM host town have a similar setup to knoxville?

great photos, too!

Val said...

YAY! I'm so glad it went well. The pictures are so fun to see! =D

lindsay said...

congrats! loved the recap and the pictures :) you look like a pro in all your gear!! your shoes are crazy fun too.

so which is worse? OWS's or running on bridges?

Melissa said...

Nice Job! Your swim was really fast. You look reallly good on the run. I can't believe the course was a whole mile off! Congrats on your huge PR!!

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Yes you rock jumping pictures! Well done! I understand OWS fears especially in cold water. Did you see fish? I always see stuff in the lake/river/ocean. You have to climb out on a dock? Oh my!

Good job on it all! Downhills make me nervous too, 30 mph is fast!
My fastest isn't much more, though my hubby has hit closer to 50... not for me.

I write encouragement for triathletes on my blog & also feature athlete profiles (related to a book project I'm working on). I'd love to feature you if you're interested, you can check out some of the others on my site for more info. :-) AGain, well done!