Revolution3 Half Full Tri - TriathlonOlympic

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Ellicot City, Maryland
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 4h 27m 5s
Overall Rank = 154/223
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 4/5
Pre-race routine:

Got to the race good and early (around 5) since they hinted parking might be an issue for those arriving later, plus I don't like to get there late anyway. Sat in the car after we parked and ate half a bagel with PB and drank some diet Mountain Dew. Around 5:45 headed to transition to set up.

Bike was already in transition because of bike check-in being on Saturday. Set up my things and covered my shoes, helmet, well, everything with bags to keep them dry in the probable event of rain. Chatted with my friend and a few other girls near us. Debated going to the dedication circle that Team Fight was doing at 6:30, but I still needed to hit the port-a-john and get my wetsuit on, so I skipped it. Good thing I did; the line was long for the john. Struggled into my wetsuit, grabbed my swim cap and goggles, put on my old sneakers to try to keep my feet warm and headed out with my friend to meet up with our husbands to go to the swim start.

At first I was sufficiently warm waiting around my sleeveless wetsuit because I was dancing and acting wacky to the music to stay warm, but eventually the cold got the better of me and I asked my husband if I could have his jacket. After all, I knew I'd be cold the rest of the day, I might as well stay warm while I can. After some words by the race director and the playing of the national anthem, things got rolling. The rain was just spitting a bit until the anthem but kicked into a steady downfall soon after.

Event warmup:

Regretfully I didn't do my usual arm windmills or anything since I was nervous and cold and somewhat distracted by my friend and husband (this is only the 2nd race my hubby was ever at).
  • 39h 37m 30s
  • 1500 meters
  • 2h 38m 30s / 100 meters

Survivors were positioned at the waters edge as we prepared for the TT start. They thanked everyone and gave high 5s to folks. Very moving. (don't cry, Melanie, keep it together!)

Pros and colleges went first with a deep water start. AGers came next in waves of time trial starts. This was a new concept to me, but I liked it. It seemed to keep people spread out better, although there were a few spots on the course where I encountered clumps of people, not sure why.

The good: sighting. I didn't vary very far from my intended course and stayed relatively straight.

The bad: not sure if it was the cold or me not swimming for 3 weeks or a combo of both, but I really struggled with getting my arms going comfortably. They just didn't seem to want to work and I was having some trouble getting them going faster. Part of this may be my little mental hang-up of worrying about going too hard and then being exhausted out in the middle of the course. Definitely something I know I need to work on.
I hung in there and eventually got into a better rhythm but still was very glad to see the ending buoys! Didn't notice the rain while swimming, ha!
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster and not skip the pool for that long of a time (I have reasons for not getting to the pool too long to go into here and now).
Transition 1
  • 07m 14s

Longish, uphill run to T1 from the boat ramp, first up the macadam road (part of which had outdoor carpeting for us to run on) then up the grassy hill to the transition zone. Saw my husband, I made some joke about it raining.

Kinda took my time, well, relatively. I knew the things I wanted to put on and do would take a little extra time anyway, so I hurried out of the wetsuit then set about putting the other stuff on. Didn't want to forget anything. Put on a vest (running jacket sans sleeves with an exposed vent in the back, but it would serve the purpose of keeping some of the wind and rain off and keep my core warm), my fleece-lined arm warmers with a more Lycra-ish exterior than my other arm warmers, SmartWool socks and my tri shoes with toe covers (already installed, of course). Didn't want to or think I'd need to mess around with gloves. Grabbed my bike and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, I don't believe. With the conditions being what they were, the extra time for extra gear was pretty much necessary. I moved as fast as I could, but probably could've picked up a little time if I'd have chosen to unroll my arm warmers while running out rather than in T1. Oh well.

Average rating was given with consideration to the conditions.
  • 2h 11m 50s
  • 32 miles
  • 14.56 mile/hr

My friend and I had pre-rode the course back in July, so I knew what to expect. I rode it fairly well at that time, and wasn't too worried about it at the time. Of course it was warm and sunny then, not so much now. I started out a bit conservatively, wary of the wet surfaces especially when cornering. As time went on, I got a little more bold with the downhills but stayed conservative in corners.

At first I started out fairly comfortable but my feet/shoes were the first to really get wet. Perhaps I should've put tape over more of the vents to keep water out, but realistically I don't think that would've mattered much eventually. My core always felt warm as did my arms. Parts that got cold were my legs and hands (but only part of the time for my hands). There was only a brief time when my fingers were numb and not working overly well, but my legs were just so cold, especially on descents. I felt a little light-headed at times, so I ate a Gu hoping it was a caloric issue. It seemed to help initially, but I still had a few spells later.

I think being cold and fighting the rain and those little bouts of light-headedness had an affect on my mental state. I was getting frustrated with my legs and body not performing like they should. I was struggling with hills more than when I pre-rode back in July and I was getting discouraged. A bit later as I was making my way up a hill, I heard the unmistakable whir of a disk wheel...and promptly got left in the dust by none other than Lance Armstrong! So cool! And of course there is a motorbike with a film camera documenting his every move, so I'm on there somewhere! I've never been happier and more excited to be passed in all my life! I had a huge grin on my face and caught up the the girl ahead of me (who was also in my division, coincidently) and we traded remarks about who we were just passed by. I passed her and was now revitalized a bit.

Throughout the course forced myself to drink my Infinit mixture and some water to get some calories even though I really didn't feel like drinking.

Volunteers were stationed at every cross road to help control traffic, and so many of them were enthusiastically cheering the riders on, which helped, too. I tried to thank every one of them, they were giving up their day to stand out in the cold and rain for us. At one particular intersection, two teenaged boys were stationed and a car was approaching as I was approaching. The one boy used both hands and his voice to tell the car to stop and wait. Apparently the driver didn't feel it was important because he blew right past the boy and right in front of me. Hit the brakes, was able to avoid the car and keep moving and just shook my head. The boy was very upset that the car didn't wait and apologized to me. I told him it wasn't his fault the driver was crazy! At a different intersection heading up a hill, the boy volunteering there said, "Keep it up, get up this hill. It's only temporary." Truer words were never spoken and it reminded me that yes (as trite as this may sound), for me it is only temporary. The young adults and anyone who is fighting cancer goes through much worse than this daily for a long time. Nice little dose of HTFU. Thank you, volunteer for reminding me of this.

The ambulances were running in full force attending to hypothermic racers as well as crashes. I saw ambulances 4 times, and the last time witnessed them loading someone in the back. Just a little sobering reminder to stay safe.

I was finally reaching the last 5 miles of the bike. A guy whizzed past me as we were nearing the roundabout which we needed to go 'straight' through. As he was about 3/4 of the way around, he slid out and crashed. I hit the brakes and tried to look for somewhere to go, as his bike was in the middle, he was sliding to the right, and a volunteer was looking to run out from the left to grab his bike and attend to him. Not to mention the concrete formations of the roundabout which needed to be avoided, preferably. Thankfully there was a little gap on the left and the volunteer wisely waited for me to pass before running out to help the rider. After he stopped sliding, the guy popped right up and walked off to the side of the road. I didn't stop because there were a ton of volunteers and police present so I knew he would be in good hands if he needed help, which it appeared he didn't.

Worked my way up the last few hills to get out onto the road which would take me back to the race site. Passed my friend on one of the final hills, yelling to her, "I wannt smack that a$$!" as I passed. She responded by calling me an a$$ for catching and passing her (she had 12 minutes on me from the swim and T1, so I'm sure she was somewhat miffed even though she knows I am a stronger biker than she). On the road back to the park I somehow hit a small but deep-ish pot hole and thought for sure I would flat or had knocked my wheel out of true, but all seemed OK. Turned into the park to head to transition. Neared the dismount line, carefully did so, and hobbled my way up the hill to transition. Along the way, various volunteers were assessing racers by asking how they were doing, making sure we were responsive and OK. Saw my husband again who made some comment about my legs not matching my bike. I wasn't sure what he meant since my red legs did match my red bike. Eventually I learned he meant red from crashing, not from cold, LOL!
What would you do differently?:

Perform some sort of ritual begging the racing gods for a less cold, less rainy day so my leg muscles could work properly!
Transition 2
  • 02m 50s

Kinda trotted my bike up the hill and through transition to my spot. Removed helmet, shoes, sunglasses and wet vest and put on my dry Team Fight tech shirt over my tri shirt and slipped on my sneakers. Opted not to change socks or arm warmers since, although soaked, neither felt particularly uncomfortable. Put on my running hat and hobbled off. Lower legs and feet were numb; it felt like I was running on stumps. Saw husband again and made a joke asking if my feet and legs were still attached because I couldn't feel them!
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 25m 33s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 13m 48s  min/mile

Legs and feet were numb and still felt like I was running on stumps as I got down the hill to start the run around the lake. I made myself keep 'running', if you want to call it that, to try to get the blood moving. Thankfully it had stopped raining by now, so there was one less discomfort to deal with. As I reached the far end of the lake, a red-haired lady caught up to me and paused to chat. She is local to the area and runs in the park often, so she shared the details of how the course went since all I knew was what the map told me. She told me where the hills were and described perfectly how the layout was. We were still chatting as we made it around the lake and headed back into a more wooded area when we saw a small, younger (19 yrs) girl walking slowly, shivering badly, and sobbing. Of course we stopped and asked her if she was OK although it was obvious she wasn't. She simply replied, "I'm so cold. I can't stop shaking." My new friend asked her what her name was and asked if she was with one of the college teams while I rubbed her arms. She answered, but minimally. We started walking slowly, both of us rubbing her arms. Not too far down the path we stopped again. The poor girl was still sobbing and shivering. My new friend had apparently put dry clothing on for the run and wanted to put it on the cold girl and get her out of as much of her wet clothes as possible. Some other folks passing asked if we needed help and we told them to run ahead to the aid station and send someone back to us.

Since it was just the two of us at this point helping the girl, I told her I was going to bend down to help take her shoes and socks off and that she should put her hand on my back to steady herself. I felt her hand there, but then she just stopped. I had to tell her to lift her left leg so we could remove her shoe. I think this showed that she was kinda borderline with coherency at this point. Thankfully, two other women stopped to help us and we changed the girl into dry socks, dry, warm, running pants, a jacket and a hat collected from the various helpers. Sadly I didn't really have anything dry to offer. All four of us were rubbing her legs and arms trying to warm her. She finally stopped crying but just couldn't stop shivering. Two men, also from Team Fight, stopped to ask if we need help. Someone had a phone, and they called a number to get the race folks to send medical help since it was clear that our efforts weren't enough. The two men continued on while us four women started to slowly walk the girl, supporting her while rubbing her to try to generate some more heat. After some time, we heard the medical staff coming up the path with a 4 wheeler. They immediately put a space blanket on her and loaded her onto the vehicle. The group of helpers dispersed. I was glad to start running again because after all that relative inactivity, I was getting cold and starting to shiver myself. The red-haired lady and I continued together for a little, but then she took off when I walked up one of the hills.

It didn't take me long to get warm again and I tried to keep running but my legs just weren't happy with some of the steeper hills, so I was reduced to a walk. I kept moving, slowly. I cherished each little mini conversation I had with folks I passed (not too many) and who passed me (many more). :)

I had just passed an aid station near the wetland park when I heard the cheering and yelling from the volunteers reach a new level. "Lance", I thought. Sure enough, not much later his entourage of a bicycle or two, possibly the filming motorbike, and a Gator with a still-camera photographer in the back approached. I think the lead biker yelled out that Lance is coming. I stepped completely off the path to let the procession pass. The biker said that I didn't need to stop, but really, it seemed like the safest plan on the narrow path with all those vehicles and such. I cheered for Lance as he passed, smiled, then resumed my snail-paced (especially to him) trudge. The poor woman photographer on the back of the Gator was hanging on for dear life as the driver tried to hurry to keep up with the group while navigating the narrow, zig-zagging bridges that went over the wetlands. We traded a few concerened looks as the vehicle turned back and forth: her in fear of being tossed off and me in fear for her, LOL!

Eventually I made it out of the beautiful wetland park out onto a busy road (coned off shoulders for our safety). I was nearing a long, straight, intimidating (by this point in the race) hill when I noticed two young Team Fight members running up and down the hill with racers, one of them carrying the UCF flag. They also had a boom box set up at the bottom, which was currently playing "Call Me Maybe". Perfect timing: the one fellow was nearing me to 'help' me up the hill right as the chorus was playing. I put my hand to my face like a phone and sang along, telling him to call me maybe. He started dancing with his hands up in the air. We laughed, and he turned to join me on the trip up the hill. He said he and his buddy were over at a different hill in the first park but they decided more people would need/appreciate 'help' getting up this hill. I agreed that this hill seemed more intimidating than the others. It was great to be joined by such a motivational, cheerful guy to distract me from my discomfort. Kudos to both those guys for spending their day running up and down hills to motivate and help others!! What great people!

Once I made it to the top, we parted ways and I kept plugging along, wanting to stay ahead of my friend who I thought was still behind me somewhere but possibly gaining. I had been taking the occasional Gatorade or water or gel at the aid stations but I really can't tell you what, when or where. Between miles 5 and 6 on another small hill, I caught up to another college athlete who seemed as ready to be done as I was. Gave him some encouraging words as I passed, telling him that he can do this, he's got this hill and we're soon done. Not much later we turned in to the park again and I had to walk on a short, steep hill in there. He returned the encouraging words to me as he neared me. I think I stayed ahead of him, I don't know.

We neared a race photographer. I told him to make me look fast. He said, "Throw your arms out wide", so I somehow pumped my arms and legs for a while in the hopes I'd look fast. We both laughed. Not much further down the path there was another photographer. I told him to make me look fast and thin. He laughed.

Finally, the finish line was in sight. Lots of cheering onlookers. I was really out of steam by now and (kicking myself) stopped for one more little tiny walk break, just about 50 feet of one. I got passed at the very bottom of the hill by one of the girls in my division. My husband told me later that I did a 'darn it' motion with my arm, which I didn't even remember doing. I tried to push it into a higher gear to run up the hill to the finish (that was cruel, an uphill to the finish!). Legs weren't 100% cooperative and I almost fell up the hill. Thankfully I stayed upright and crossed the finish line giving some arm pumps into the air. Exhausted, I got my finisher's medal and smiled. Then I saw my friend who I thought was still behind me standing at the finish line. I suddenly was worried. A million thoughts went through my mind: had she crashed after I passed her on the bike? Had she had an issue on the run? I looked at her, searching for a sign of what happened. She also wore a look of confusion. Eventually we figured out that she passed me when was bent over helping the hypothermic girl which is why she didn't see me and I didn't see her. This caused some concern for my husband who knew I had a decent lead on her going into the run but then she finished first and had no knowledge of where I was. Crazy!

I had spent about 10 minutes or so helping the girl which allowed my friend to pass me and gain on me. She is also in my division, and won 3rd. Had I not stopped to help the girl, I would've gotten 3rd. But that is OK with me, there's no way I wouldn't have stopped and I'm not second guessing my decision nor regretting it. She was in that bad of shape. Besides, if I had to lose an award to anyone, it may as well be my friend. The other girl who was in our division who passed me right at the end had started after me in the TT start (which I forgot about), so I ended up beating her by a scant 2 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Run just a bit more than I did.
Post race
Warm down:

Watched Lance finish, running across the line looking fresh as a daisy with his 3 daughters. He finished first as a survivor in the Half distance.

Found my red-haired good Samaritan friend and asked her if she knew how 'our' girl was. She had been in the medical tent and my friend visited with her and her mom and gave her her own finisher's medal. We went back so I could see her, too, but she had already left the tent. At least she was OK! Then this guy walks up as we are chatting about her medal and I thought it was red-haired lady's husband. Then he says he will make sure she gets another medal and the college girl gets a finisher's shirt. I'm thinking, "Who is he that he has that much pull? Her husband?!?!" Then another lady walks up who I knew was helping with the race and says the same thing, they will make sure she gets a medal and the girl gets a shirt. The race lady and the guy discuss this, then the race lady says, "I'll let you take care of it, they can't say no to you. It's your race." Maybe it was Charlie Patten? Or perhaps some other big wig with Rev3. Either way I was very impressed that they chose to take care of both of the athletes and were compassionate and wanting to make both parties feel wanted and welcomed, that they were people and not just pocketbooks. Kudos again to Rev3 and UCF for putting on a first class race with first class staff and volunteers.

Changed into warm, DRY clothes (so nice!!). Grabbed some food and a beer (awesome!), ate, then headed to the NormaTech booth with my friend and my beer to get a nice treatment for my legs. They helped SO MUCH!!! If they weren't so expensive, I'd totally buy some.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Should've trained a bit more for that length of run, especially after such a hilly bike. But bottom line limiter: the cold.

Event comments:

Again, I can't say enough how impressed I was by both Rev3 (who I loved since Quassy last year and knew were a top-notch organization) but also by The Ulman Cancer Fund. Both organizations worked together so well to put on a well run, organized, excellent event. Team Fight members were so supportive and welcoming.

As trying as it was at different points during the race, I have already decided I want to do this race again next year because the UCF is such a worthy cause. And I love Rev3. And it is such a great course in a lovely area. And because I want redemption. Redemption for a race that wasn't quite what it should have been (again, absolutely no regrets about helping the girl) because I know I could have performed better.

Video featuring the reasons some people race, Team Fight finishers, and Lance, totally worth watching:

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-01-19 12:00 AM
39:37:30 | 1500 meters | 2h 38m 30s / 100meters
Age Group: 5/5
Overall: 165/223
Performance: Below average
Suit: Xterra Vortex 3 sleeveless
Course: From the Rev3 Half Full course description page: The swim will be a very popular time trial start which will consist of 2 participants entering the water every 5 seconds. The time trial will be arranged by waves which will be announced prior to the race. The swim will be a clockwise directional swim. 70,000 is the estimated number of young adults diagnosed with cancer each year. This is a statistic that needs people’s attention. The Half Full Triathlon will help make the young adult cancer issue a priority and together we can improve the 70,000 statistic. Every Mile you race you’re helping support this population of young people battling cancer.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:14
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:11:50 | 32 miles | 14.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/5
Overall: 140/223
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Taken from Rev3's official course description: "The bike course covers the scenic countryside of Western Howard County where participants will be faced with hills and some technical geography. The single loop Olympic Distance Course has a total of 847 ft or assent while the 2-loop Half Distance Course with over 1,500 total feet of assent. Be prepared to grind out the climbs and take advantage of the downhills to make up some time. “The Half Full road course is more than half full of hills. This course is nothing less than challenging. It’s not going to kill you but it will put a hurting on you, especially in race mode…”
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:50
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:25:33 | 06.2 miles | 13m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/5
Overall: 154/223
Course: Again, from the Rev3 site: The run course is a counter clockwise route through Centennial Park and some of the communities of Howard County. There are a mixture of some steep climbs, gradual climbs and a period of time on the paved trails of a wetland park. This terrain will cause you to have to save up some energy for some of the longer climbs. When you get back to the park off of Centennial Lane, go for it, you will have .4 miles to the finish line. The Half Full Triathlon will help make the young adult cancer issue a priority and together we can improve the 70,000 statistic. Every Mile you race you’re helping support this population of young people battling cancer.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5