Race Schedule and Results

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

REV3 Knoxville

It's all about perspective.  I learned that this weekend.  If you live in a hilly area, this course is awesome.  If you live in central Ohio, this course is brutal (but still awesome).  If you train all winter in a warm place where you can swim and bike and run outside, it's not too early for a half Ironman.  If you live in Central Ohio and Mother Nature hates you,  it's going to be a bit of a struggle.  If you think about how lucky you are to have the ability to move your body 70.3 miles, you'll love every minute of it, no matter how slow, hard, and hilly the day is!

We got to Knoxville on Friday, checked into out hotel (which was located right at the finish line and perfect), checked into the race, walked around the finish line area and finally met up with teammates.  It was so fun to finally put faces with names and I'll always laugh about us twitter and facebook stalking people as they walked by in their lime green visors, trying to figure out who everyone was.  A lot of  "hi, I'm Colleen... aka Irondiva or @CBKingery. :)  We ended up grabbing a great Mexican dinner on Friday night with a bunch of the team and Tom's teammates.  Lots of laughs!
Saturday was super busy.  We met in the morning for the practice swim.  Holy crap - the water was cold.  And yet, I freaked a little.  Again, about perspective.  I've been swimming in a pool which is probably 82 degrees or so.  Tom's two teammates are from California and thought the 62 degree water of the Tennessee River wasn't too bad.  I couldn't feel my feet, hands or face.  But it was fine.  The TYR Hurricane Cat 5 wetsuit was AWESOME and I'm not just saying that because they are a sponsor.  The thing freaking rocks... flexible, no chaffing, kept me floating and warm! :)  Two thumbs up.  
After the practice swim, I showered, busted out my "I pee on my bike" shirt (thanks Triathlon Rocks!) and grabbed some grub before volunteering at the registration tent for a few hours.  People loved my shirt - some took pictures, some asked if I really do that, others just said "best shirt we've ever seen" (btw, if you want one, you can contact Triathlon Rocks and tell them I sent you - they'll give you a special deal!  Their website should be up shortly, but they are on twitter @TriathlonRocks). 

After volunteering, I got my bike to check, realized my brakes were rubbing something fierce that I couldn't fix, totally freaked out and luckily the great people at the mechanic tent took care of Papa Smurf and made it better.  I love my Kestrel to death, but the breaks are a little funky and I changed my wheels out which weren't working real well with the set up.  They got my bike done by 7:15 (bike check in closed at 6) but I was still able to get it in there, all settled and ready. Quick bite to eat with Tom's team and I was ready to crash!

I slept well the night before the race, but had been on my feet WAY more than I wanted on Saturday and woke up Sunday a little groggy and sleepy.  And nervous.  Did I mention that?  Holy nerves.

Tom, his team, my twin Kristin and I walked to transition and got everything set up.  It was chilly in the morning and all I could think about was how cold the water was going to be.  My stomach was flip flopping.  I found Tom and we walked out of transition and the tears started.  I just felt like I was in over my head with this race.  He assured me that I was fine and to remember that I'm not racing it.  This isn't a course that suited me well - we don't have the terrain around Columbus to get us fully prepared for the climbs, and it's early in the season.  I knew I wanted to treat it as a training day and just get through it. 

We got our wetsuits on and made our way to the swim start.  It's an in water start and all of the half women started together in pink caps.  Tom was in our wave too because he changed to the aqua bike so I smiled when the man on the mic yelled "the party has started now that the women are in the water".  The women and Tom. :)  He was loving it...

Swim - I positioned myself in the back of the pack.  Tom didn't think I needed to be that far back, but felt like I was going to panic.  There were a lot of pink caps in front of me and the water was cold (although it felt warmer than the practice swim).  The horn sounded and I panicked.  Full on "oh my God, I'm going to die" panic.  Called that one.  As the pink caps swam off, I did a quick pep talk.  I can do this.  I swim all the time.  Head in a go.  Maybe a minute later, I was totally calm, swimming in a body free bit of water and passing some pink caps, then some yellow (the wave before).  The turn out seemed to be 5 miles away and there was not the help of the current that I was hoping for.  I felt like I was in the water forever, and that was fine.  I got out in 48 minutes.  Shoot... that was really slow.  I later learned that the course was long and on average, people were 5-6 minutes longer than usual.  Made me feel better, but I'm still slow.

T1pokey for some reason and didn't get out real quick.  I think it was like 2:30. HA!

Bike - Remember how I said Tom was going to bike with me.  Yeah, that lasted about .05 miles! :)  This course was a dream for him (he was in the top 5% of the bike overall).  I just got comfortable and knew it would be tough.  I didn't however think it would be that tough (Wes, you warned me and I will forever listen to you!).  Again, perspective... when you don't bike any hills, it felt like I was climbing mountains.  The course was beautiful and I really have to tip my hat to REV3.  The volunteers were amazing and I loved having police AND volunteers at ever intersection.  I used my small ring a lot.  I just rode comfortable.  I ate when I needed. Drank my EFS Grape (love that stuff)  Yes, I peed on my bike.  I think I averaged like 17.2mph and I was thrilled with that.   It might have been my slowest half bike at 3:15, but I was happy with it.

T2- I got to transition and Tom was finished with his race and waiting.  Kristin's bike was the only one in my rack at this point (she rocked her race btw getting 2nd in our age group and I am so excited for her).  I guess others struggled with the course too.  I couldn't for the life of me get my belt on right.  And I think I yelled at Tom to not take pictures of me trying to get my shoes on.  Yelled hi to Meredith and Dave and got on my way.

Run - Again, I just wanted to take this run comfortably.  I turned my watch off.  I didn't care what pace I was running.  My legs felt a little sluggish, but I was happy.  The first couple of miles were flat and went by quickly, but I knew I was running a very slow comfortable pace.  I got to maybe mile 3.5 and the climbs started.  Short and steep.  Mile 4 had a huge climb.  Miles 5-8 were up and down.  I never thought "I want to be done" but I knew that I was running a very slow pace.  It felt right that day...  I saw some teammates and cheered them on.  I talked to people, thanked the volunteers and police.  Running to the finish line was amazing. 
I finished in 6:19:xx. That's slow for me.  But it was a great race - I was comfortable, happy, enjoying it.  I didn't care about being fast, what my pace was, where I was in the pack.  I just moved forward.  A teammate told me to repeat "I eat pain for breakfast" when it hurt and I added "I eat hills for lunch" which kept me smiling.

I ended up 5th in my age group out of 20.  Not too shabby for a training day.  Trakkers rocked - I'm so honored to be racing with my teammates who are pure rock stars... a few podiums, a few big PR's!

So I'm home now and sick as a dog.  Sunday night I started to feel crappy with a sore throat and itchy eyes.  Yesterday was all out cold.  Last night I slept 11 hours, got up, ate breakfast and went back to bed for another 4.5 hours.  And I could shut my eyes now and probably sleep till morning.  My body is run down.  Oh... and for all of you asking about Tom's Achilles.  We don't know what's wrong.  It started bothering him 2 weeks ago.  No distinctive pop.  Lots of swelling and absolutely no way he could run.  Not a ton of pain, but went to the ART tent on Saturday before the race and they wouldn't touch it.  They said that there was a visible ridge which made them think rupture.  YIKES.  He raced the aqua bike Sunday (and came in 2nd out of 8!) and it felt fine, but he couldn't walk the rest of the evening.  It's probably two times the size it should be and we have an appointment with a sports med doctor on Thursday.  I'll keep you updated!

REV3 does things right.  From check in, to the volunteers, the race and the finish line party, everything was top notch. I honestly felt this was one of the most organized races I've ever done.  All of the little nuisances that usually bother me at races weren't there.  This is a top notch race and I'm hoping to be back next year.  But, I'm going to have to find some hills this time around!

40 comments:

Niki said...

Way to go girl!! You did great!! Loved the race report. I know how tough Tennessee hills can be (although Knoxville is probably worse than in Memphis where I live!!) The race sounds like a good one, something to keep in mind for next year :)

tribirdie said...

Great race report!! It was a challenging course, and you are right, it's one of the great things about Rev3!! Great to meet you and swim with you at the practice swim!!

P said...

This RR made me so happy!!! Except for the part about you being sick and Tom's Achilles, of course. What a wonderful attitude you have! Even if this race was slow for you, you completely ROCKED it!! Congrats!

My Life and Running said...

I think you did fabulous! It's been such a rough winter - totally impressed you took on a Half already! Congrats! (hope Tom's heel heals quickly!)

Andree said...

"I eat hills for lunch". Nice addition!! (I have always said hills are my friends)-guess after all the pain-eating I grew soft:) Very awesome job!!!

Beth said...

Congrats on your super successful "training" 70.3!! It looked like a great experience overall! What is your A race for the year?

Jim ... 50after40 said...

AWESOME JOB!!! All of you IRON people have my deepest respect regardless of the time! 70.3 ... seriously???

Molly said...

Oh boy! I had no idea you were doing the 1/2 - great job!!! That's a tough course to begin with and then doing it early in the year coming from the Midwest? You were awesome!!!

Matthew Smith said...

Finally! The race report that I've been waiting to read. I'm so sorry you're sick. That really sucks, but I think you rocked your race. Those hills are rough. We moved to Michigan from a town right near Knoxville, and that's how I used to train, so I know about them hills. Nice job on just relaxing and enjoying the race. That's got to be rewarding. I hope you feel better soon and Tom's achilles heal quickly. Enjoy the rest and recovery.

Beal88 said...

Way to go. Congrats on your race!

Anne-Marie said...

Congrats! 5th AG is awesome! Love your take on the race - it really is all about perspective. It sounds like a really fun weekend and a great course - gets me psyched for Rev3 Cedar Point!

Bummer to getting sick. Get lots of rest and hope you feel better soon!!!

This is super random and unrelated to Knoxville, but I got a Zensah running bra recently after reading your review and wore it for the first time today and it is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa C said...

Great job Colleen! I really like the way you wrote this, and I appreciate your perspective. I am going to have to keep that in mind for myself in 2.5 weeks. Holy Moly!

Love your shirt. I might need to get one for a certain friend of mine.

Julie (ROJ) said...

I just wanted to say congrats on your race! You were so honest in what your wrote, but without asking for pity or compliments.

Ironman By Thirty said...

Awesome job! It sounds like it was a tough course. Pretty incredible to think of a 70.3 as "training". You rock!

Hope you feel better soon and that Tom gets good news from the doc!

Kristin Deaton said...

Hi Twin: despite not training on the hills you still rocked it. And yes for a perspective/training stepping stone you rocked it's socks off :-) I loved racking bikes next to my twin and can't wait to race with you again well that means I get to see you again:-). I don't have to tell you how much fun I had this weekend because we we got to hang out the whole time.

Megan said...

Way to go Colleen! You're so inspiring! Great recap too!

Meredith said...

I think you did great, and being that you're sick now, I'm sure you were already sick when you started this race.

BTW, you can practice hills in Ohio. I do TONS of low cadence stuff and drive myself out to Granville all the time to practice the hills. It's made a HUGE difference in how I view and tackle the hills.

JenniferLeah said...

Sounds like a great race!! I hope Tom is okay :(
Hope you are feeling better soon

Kristin said...

I think everyone gets sick after these races! Its togh on your body physically and mentally! Awesome job on a tough course!!! hey you finished!! :)

Kim said...

holy hard course!!! way to hang in there and push through up the hills! fantastic training day my friend, i am so proud of you! no fun being sick though so take care of yourself.

and i LOVE that shirt and want one!

Christi said...

Congrats on a great training day! I love the shirt!

Please let Tom know that I am sending him healing vibes. I really hope everything works out!

Wes said...

I knew I wanted to treat it as a training day and just get through it.

After all that drama, I RELAXED when I read that :-)

The worst part of the race for me was my freezing feet from the water on the cold concrete! I couldn't WAIT to jump in! LOL. At least the water for me was around 68.

That was my slowest half IM ever! I came in around 6:30, and I LIVE IN A HILLY AREA. LOL... You did awesome. Way to represent! and I love your shirt as well :-)

M said...

How awesome! Congrats on a wonderful race!

Marcus Grimm said...

Great report - congrats to both of you on great finishes, all things considered!

I still think you triathletes are nuts, but in the best possible way!

She said I need a goal said...

Love it!! Great report. Hope you feel better soon.. lots of rest and liquids. You are a rockstar!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Excellent job Colleen! And good job sticking to your plan.

Can't wait til we all get to race at Rev3 Cedar Point - it is going to be such a blast!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

What I loved about this RR is that you were gleaming with FUN. It sounds like you had a blast the whole time. I loved when you turned the watch off and just went for a run. Congrats on taking 5th, you rock, Tell Tom congrats on taking 2nd in the AB. I hope the both of you are feeling better soon.

BTW, Athens is probably the training ground for a tri like this. NOTHING is flat down there.

Jon said...

Nice job Colleen! Great way to start your season. Makes me want to try out a Rev3 race one of these days.

I laughed when you said the water had warmed up after the practice swim. Any ideas why? Huh? *wink wink* LOL!

And congrats to your Husband, Lance, uh I mean Tom, for dropping a nice bike split!

Betsy said...

If you want a hilly, slowest half IM bike ever go to Wildflower! I'd take your bike time!

Its fun to just be out there experiencing a new race and getting some good training work and race experience in early in the year!

MissFancyPants said...

sounds like a great race! I want to do a Rev3 now!

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

what a great race! So well organized and yes, not too shabby AT ALL for you!

Lauren said...

great race! I love the outlook you always have on races. You may say it was slow, but I still think you kicked ass!

Caratunk Girl said...

Love the RR. Wish I could have been there! Sounds like a blast!

Molly said...

Hope you and Tom are both feeling better! What a great race for you, between volunteering and getting to meet up with your friends, congrats!

DRog said...

nice job way to pee on the bike!
good effort all the way through you really had to grind it out. And excellent perspective thats what its all about:)

Matty O said...

GREAT RR!

Hey loved the mantra, I need to learn to have fun out there and TAKE PRESSURE OFF OF MYSELF!

That is a great time for going out there and enjoying yourself. Says a lot for your conditioning right now.

Keep up the good work :)

Alisa said...

Congrats on another HIM finish. I know it might not have been the race you wanted it to be. You got through and you're well on your way to a great racing season. I could not imagine being ready for an HIM here, with all the rain and cold temps we've had---no way jose.

Ryan Oilar said...

I had a great time playing with you guys down in Knoxville!!! Great race, and yes, I thought it was hilly too :)

rbuike said...

Great race report! I thought that the swim felt long too but figured I was just out of swimming shape :)

Great result!

Rev3 definately runs a good race!

lin said...

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