Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rev3 Tri, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Hard to believe it has been over 2 months since my last post which was on the Ride To Montauk. I'm now two triathlons removed and we're almost into September.

Anyway, this past Sunday was the Rev3 Tri in Maine! Overall, it was a great race by a great organizer. As for my performance, thats another story (more on that later). When I registered, I failed to realize that the race date, being at the end of the summer, meant that most of my training would be in the dead heat of summer. And if theres one thing I cannot do, is function in heat and humidity, thus rendering my training for this Tri to almost zero. So much so, that at one point, I had decided (almost officially) that I wasnt going to do the race. So with a little less than a month to go (after watching an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Weight-loss Edition", where the guy does an Olympic distance Tri at 300+ pounds), I again changed my decision, and then crammed what should be at least 3 months of training into 4 weeks. I squeezed in whatever running I could, running on the cooler, less humid days, ignoring the bike (again!), and well, trying to swim (saying the FMCP Aquatic center gets "crowded" during the summer months is a severe understatement). Thankfully, I went on a cruise 2 weeks prior to the race, and was able to run on the ship, and swim at the beach while in port. Let me just say, running on a ship in the middle of the ocean was a unique experience.

So then, how did I do, you ask? Well, to that, I respond with, "Hey, I finished!"....hah! Out of 300 Olympic distance athletes, I came in 290th. At least I wasnt last! Final time was 3:44:42 (40:54 swim, 1:36:47 bike, 1:16:22 run), which is slower than I had anticipated. I was hoping more of the 3:15-3:30 range. But thanks to my lack of training, this is my result. 

The swim was actually not too bad, considering its usually the one I am most concerned about, especially this time not having gone the 1500m distance- and yes, I was nervous if I could even make it, and went in having a "lets just survive this" mindset. The waters were chilly, but since I wisely rented a westuit from the good people of Rev3, it was not an issue, and probably even made this portion easier.The most difficult part of this was my inability to swim in a straight line, no matter how frequently I sighted. I felt like I swam double the 1500m distance because I was zig-zagging so much. This definitely added to my time and sapped some energy. It also didnt help that my goggles were completely fogged up, making sighting that much more difficult. Though compared to DC, this was much less chaotic, since it was an ocean swim (read: A LOT more room to swim) so we werent all going in the water one on top of the other.

So after what seemed like an ETERNITY to get to shore, I'm finally out of the water, unzipping the wetsuit, and making the .3 mile jog to transition. T1 actually goes along without a hitch until, after I go my bike shoes on, I realized I forgot to take the cleat covers off, AGAIN (I had also done that the NYRR Tri). So I had to bother with that for a few seconds before I was out on the bike course.

Bike course was not TOO much of an issue, just a little hillier than anticipated. It also wasn't "fast and flat with a couple of rollers" as they had advertised.  It actually was mainly all rollers, with a couple flats. Had some aches and soreness during this leg, mainly from not biking since the Montauk ride, but otherwise, I think it went well (asides from being passed by 50 and 60 year old women, doh!).

T2. Off the bike, back into transition, slip on some socks, my running shoes, shorts, visor and off I go! What did I forget? My gels. ARGH. I had gone too far to go back. There would be gatorade on the course, so I was just going to go with that. Otherwise, I think it was a pretty successful T2.

So onto the run I go, temps in the mid 70s at this point, it feels, okay. And just okay. Mile 1 marker came rather fast, and turned out I did it in 9:30 (which was WAY too fast), and it showed the rest of the way. After that first mile, I had to go into a run/walk, as I was pretty much out of gas at this point. Nearing the halfway point, both quads start tightening up big time. I spot a port-o-potty, and since I needed to go since the swim, and the fact that my quads could use a break, I made the pit stop. Back on the road, the quads would tighten up again 2 more times, each one calling for a quick stop and stretch to alleviate. Then once again, on the final stretch, I felt it. Just before returning to the crowds, I stopped to try to stretch them out again, so I could run through the finish strong. I reach the finish chute, and there it was, my legs, seconds from cramping up into big huge knots, all I could do was fight through it. Made the final turn just before the finish arch, found my adoring wife waiting for me, grabbed her hand and trotted through the finish together! All the while, the crowd is cheering you on. The PA announcer shouting out, "Ben-Jammin'!" to acknowledge me. What a rush. What a feeling. Though I didnt come close to breaking any kind of records, it was still a wash of emotion that I just completed an Olympic distance triathlon. OLYMPIC Distance!!

So looking forward, I would LOVE to do this race again, but would need a better training strategy, because training in the summer heat just is not an option for me. Anyone with ideas, I'd love to hear it! 'Till next time!