There is really so much to say about the entire weekend but for now I'll just focus on the race itself and then in later posts, I'll recap the rest of the adventures.
Quassy is a brutal and unforgiving course. Burn yourself out on that bike course and you'll be dead on the run. So many people talk about the bike course and yes, it is hilly but in reality, it is that run course is the killer. It was the challenge of this course that drew me to it in the first place and I went into this race with absolutely NO expectations on time. My only expectation was some suffering...and here is how the day unfolded.
I spent a lot of time working on my swim over the winter and thanks to Coach Sonja's guidance, I have made some pretty strong improvements with my swim techniques so while I said that I have zero time expectations on the race itself, the swim was really the only place where I wanted to see some improvements.
photo property of Rev3Triathlon
|ready to rock the blueseventy suit|
|Getting on the beach for our wave and chatting w/Audra-GO TIME!|
We said quick hello's, wished each other a great race and she made her way to the front of the pack. There was no way I was going to position myself to get trampled by these men so I played it safe with a position of the middle/back of the pack. Coach gave me a pretty specific plan of action for the swim and I was ready to execute.3-2-1-GO I went out with good effort, there was lots of mashing of bodies, some kicking, swimming over each other-you know, the normal start but nothing epic. I was looking for some fast feet to follow and I found them quickly. I'd hold on as long as I could and then the feet would disappear.
The swim start to the guide buoys to the first turn buoy allowed for lots of room because of the angles available. Some stayed away from the guide buoys and just went right for the turn buoy (a straight shot) while others swam to the guide buoys then followed those to the first turn buoy. As you can see from this picture, you start to the left of the yellow guide buoys, the red turn buoy is at the end of the yellows, where you then make a right turn (into the sun).
I had some clean water for a bit then I'd find more feet and go. I got to the first turn buoy, passed some people, swim swim swim...it was so hard to see because the sun was right in my eyes but I'd swim swim sight, swim swim sight. I passed a yellow capped dude from a previous wave and just as I got past him, my feet were grabbed and I was pulled under--just I was taking a breath! This caused some water going down, my choking, puking a tad and cursing loudly!! But I kept my composure and just kept going. Got to the next turn buoy rather quickly and then it was go time to the shore. I don't recall much about that last portion of the swim except I passed a lot of people and I was ready to get on my bike!!
|photo courtesy of my awesome Rev3 Team Mate, Elaine|
T1 2:52 I remember having issues getting my Garmin on and I seemed to fumble getting my nutrition packed into my kit (and shoved down my top). Literally, one second faster than my T1 at Timberman
What can I say about the bike except..WOW. What a blast! This course is lots of hills and lots of fun. Again, I had a plan to tackle this course and it went brilliantly. I kept in my zones (even when I wanted to bomb right up those hills) and paid attention to how many matches I was burning out there. I knew that there was a hell of a run coming up and played it smart. I had also seen some really bad crashes the day before (more on that another day) and on some of the downhills, I did find myself holding back a bit. I am ok with that. I like my skin on my body, I like my bike in one piece. I hit just over 40mph on several of those down hills and had a great ride. I felt fantastic the entire time and really, could have gone one more loop!
I had so much fun.
I just love biking so, so much and there is not much else I would rather do than be out on my sexy, fast, awesome Quintana Roo cd0.1!! Plus, this course is just amazing and beautiful, those who live in this area of CT and get to ride/run this land daily are really lucky folks.
T2 1:52 In and out, time to run. (1:39 faster than Timberman)
Good thing I don't take T2 lessons from my pal Matty-O.
Ahh, the run. While I did not have any time goals going into this race, I knew that it was suffer time on the run and I knew this would take me 2-2:15 to complete so I was pretty much on target there though if things had gone as planned, it could have been a lot faster.
My plan was to take it easy the first half, be conservative on the climbs (so.many.hills) and then bomb it home for the last half. The first several miles were uneventful and easy going. I kept my HR in check, kept my pace in check (8:30's and 9:00's) and I was feeling good! I love to run off the bike and things were falling into place.
Lots of positive self talk and I continually reviewed my plan for those unrelenting hills ahead.
that smile would be a grimace at mile 7...another great photo from Elaine
Somewhere between miles 4 and 5 this sharp, cramping pain started in my right side. Now, I have had these happen to me in training before and I can usually take a little walk break or change up my breathing/foot strike pattern and run 'em out. It would wax and wane but it was always there. I did not want to stop, I did not want to walk but then I figured, if I can get this under control, I get get going. I took a little walk break and nothing so back to slogging along, climb, ouch, walk a bit...on and on. From being hunched over to my right trying to alleviate some of the side pain, I would later start to have my right glute and calf act up as well. My lower back was starting to hurt too...then I let the pain win. I stopped, doubled over and just took a deep breath. Started walking again and this gal, Jeannie (who I ended up chatting with post race) said she was having some side cramping too and suggested that I walk with my hands over my head. I did this for a bit and it did seem to alleviate the discomfort enough to battle on.
I knew I only had about a 1/2 mile to the finish and if I could just get over this one hill, I was home. At this point, my frustration took over. I no longer cared how bad it hurt. I did not care if my legs fell off or my calf exploded. I just ran to the finish.
I hurt but I already knew I would be returning in 2013 for another crack at this race.
I knew this race was not easy.
This was no place for my ego or for going for a PR.
I executed the swim and bike just the way I planned.
Some things went not-as-planned on the run but I did what I could in the moment.
I am so happy overall with how the race went. I knew it would not be easy and I had a great time out there. I have some things to improve, some things to learn and an amazing Coach who will help me get there!
A giant thank you to Rev3, you put on great race and I am so proud to be a part of the Rev 3 Family. Many, many thanks to my awesome sponsors! I am honored to have the worlds best products to train and race with!!
Post-race at the Powerbar tent!! So proud to represent Powerbar at Quassy this weekend.