So this past weekend I drove down to Tennessee to race in Rev3’s first pro race of the year in Knoxville. If you have any questions about ‘what/who is Rev3?’ then a good article can be found here.
Race morning dawned a perfect cool and sunny day and with the half-distance athletes starting before us, we didn’t need to be ready to go until 7:30am. The swim takes place in the Tennessee River, and given that we have had a cool spring, the race was wetsuit-legal even for the pros (below 68 degrees). No complaints from me 🙂 I positioned myself in what I deemed to be a good spot at the start line with the intention of getting onto the feet of someone slightly faster than myself. Alas, as has happened I think every single time, I have no top-end speed and quickly found myself swimming on my own, a few people behind me but most people ahead. “Huh, well, good thing it’s not a swim race,” I thought to myself. The first 400m or so are directly into the rising sun and this is generally how we felt:
However, as we turn and swim the 1km or so back to the swim exit it was smooth going and I found myself slowly catching back up to a couple of the women ahead of me. Exiting the water I was almost 2min down on the fastest swimmer, which (although is A LOT) is less than it was in St. Anthony’s a month ago.
Out onto the bike my goal was to have a cadence around 90rpm, versus the 80 or so that I was riding at last race. The hamstring issue that flared up has not gone away and from my training I have realized that the lower the cadence I ride at, the more aggravated it becomes- so, while I was sacrificing watts and speed at the higher cadence, I was giving myself the best chance of running decently once we got off the bike. I quickly started to catch some the of the people who exited the water ahead of me as we rode through the hilly bike course, and by about mile 15 or so I was in second place. I rode almost the entire course in my big chain ring, as on one of the early hills I decided to get into the small chain ring, only to have the chain jam- while it only took a few seconds to fix, there went my rights to ‘fastest bike split.’ Shucks. And I wasn’t about to risk it again so there was a bit of grinding up the hills. I was grateful for my several attempts at the down-Mt. Lemmon Strava records in Tucson though, as those handling skills were useful on some of the fast and technical descents on the course.
I got off the bike with about 30seconds on third place, so I set to work to put out my best run possible. Unfortunately this was not enough to hold on to second place and I fell to third, but still ran significantly better than last race. My awesome homestay even came to the finish line to cheer, which was fantastic 🙂
I would like to thank Rev3 and all the volunteers for putting on a spectacular race and once again to all my sponsors: C3 Canadian Cross Training Club, Skechers, Alto Cycling, Riplaces, Rudy Project, Wishbone Athletics, Neworld Cycle and Nineteen.
My *wink wink nudge nudge* to pros: Actions speak louder than words. Saying “I wish there were more Olympic distance races” means little if you don’t show up. $15,000 at Quassy for the men- hopefully that’s enough incentive to register (that’s more than there is at dozens of races put on by “other race organizations”). Any age groupers who want a discount code to Rev3 Williamsburg or Rev3 Maine, please contact me.