Rev3 Cedar Point - Full Rev - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Sandusky, Ohio
United States
71F / 22C
Total Time = 15h 12m 27s
Overall Rank = 169/220
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 2/3
Pre-race routine:

Arrive in Sandusky Friday by noon. Check-in opens at 2pm (oops), get packet pickup, walk the area (still setting up). Walked through the closed park to the breakers (looking for a public shower to use after the race since I'm staying in Downtown Sandusky - found one outside by the beach). Drove the bike course - very important! This is shared by the Half and the Full - made sure I knew where to turn and when to go straight. The place where we double loop for the FULL confused me - so I backed up and did it again - committing it to memory. Froze my malto and water bottles (both run and bike) the night before I left Chicago. Organized all the bags (special needs, swim-bike and bike-run). Reviewed my targets for the race and went to bed at 9pm. Did not sleep at all. I had taken 24 hour Sudafed at 11am and it was kicking in big time. Got up at 4am, packed my bottles, ate a wholewheat english muffin, yogurt and hot tea. Drove to race site - only took a few minutes. I was one of the first in the parking lot - front space -yeah, only a 100 yards to transition. I think this was much better than staying in the Breakers. I did not have to walk 1/2 mile to transition in the sand - AND BACK.
Event warmup:

Set up all my bags, double checked my bike, ate a banana and sipped gatorade. No DRY bag or After bag - - glad the car was close. Headed down to swim start and hit the bathrooms inside the hotel - perfect timing - then realized I had my car key in my hoody pocket (that I was going to toss before the swim). Ran back down the beach to transition and put my car key in the bike-run bag, put my wet suit on and booked it back to swim start - just as they were letting everyone into the water. Water temps were 71, air temp was 61 - nice when the water is warmer than the air. Opted NOT to wear a second swim cap. Very shallow at the start, you have to walk out a long way. The waves were about a foot or so, not terribly bad, but well, it was going to be an interesting swim. Swam around trying to get a feel for how the waves were coming in and to see if I could feel a current. Thought that the leg going to the finish line would be the best and fastest leg. Threw away my granola bar - just wasn't hungry. Stuck a gel in leg of my wetsuit for later during the swim (it fell out somewhere on the swim).
  • 1h 57m 55s
  • 3862 meters
  • 03m 03s / 100 meters

This was the hardest swim of my life. Going out the waves were tough to swim into and it was crowded. I worked my way to the outside to have some space and followed closely to a guy doing the breast stroke - because he could see the buoys and I could not. Kept telling myself that once I turned it would be okay. It was not - about 50 yards into the second leg I was going to just stop - I don't HAVE to do this - it's been a tough season, yada, yada, yada. Told myself to just get to the next buoy and it will be fine. It was a little better and I settled in. After the next turn, I had to breath to my left because of the waves splashing in my face. The waves were bigger and I had problems with them rolling me every time I tried to take a stroke. Started to get dizzy. Stopped to tread water and got dizzier - decided it was better to keep moving. About this time I was thinking boy am I glad I didn't eat that granola bar. About 3 or 4 of us grouped together - it was getting tough. At one point, one of the guys came down on me hard when one of the waves pushed him into me. I went deep under the water and kicked to get back to the surface - enraging my calf muscle which cramped up massively. I screamed and stopped - 3 guys all stopped to make sure I was okay - Thank you so much whoever you were - it really helped calm me down while the cramp receded. We made it to the start at chest deep water and walked a bit to take a rest. I checked my watch - it had taken me 55 minutes! wow! Headed back out for the second loop and it was significantly harder. The waves were bigger and I was constantly trying to figure out how to go through them. At about the 1.75Mile I flagged a paddle board over, I was trying to keep my cookies down and needed to stop my head from spinning. It was good to hang on for a minute. Plus the guy with the awesome swedish accent telling me how incredible I was doing - really helped motivate me to finish. We reviewed where I was and how far I had to go. Three yellow buoys, then one orange - turn and 3 more yellow buoys to the finish. Okay, lets get this done. I hit the waves again determined to keep my stomach under control. I needed to use my visualization technique - something to keep my mind off my queasiness. I started counting my strokes - that was not working. Then I remembered from boating that when you get sea sick you focus on something stationary - the horizon. Well the waves were too big to watch the horizon - it was moving too - but I had the roller coasters in the park - perfect! I focused for all I was worth on those roller coasters - it was then I realized how little progress I was making. I finally made it to the last turn buoy - home stretch - here I come. Get to the first buoy and I know I'm going to throw up - there is no holding it back anymore. This has never happened and I don't think I can do this, while being tossed around - I can't tread water at the same time. I look around and find a kayak - call him over - come quick, PLEASE! He makes it over in time for me to grab the kayak and spill my breakfast all over his kayak. A few seconds later 2 days worth of food comes up. Okay, there is nothing left in my stomach, time to finish this swim and get to terra firma. The waves were sort of working in our favor now. Although that's debatable. It felt like someone literally grab me by both ankles and pulled me 8-10 feet backwards, then slingshot me forward. I realized I could use the forward motion and swim hard with each wave and that's how I finished this crazy swim. Normally I swim until my hand touches the bottom, this time I was watching other people to see when they stood up. I'm only 5'2", so while they could stand, I had to swim further - ahhhh,, finally standing. I can't wait to see how green I look in the swim finish photos.
What would you do differently?:

Wear a sea-sickness patch. I hear Trans-derm scopolamine is good!!

As I think back on it, I never got physically tired of swimming, my breathing was good. I was so grateful to my swim coach for forcing me to learn to breath comfortably on both sides. I stayed calm and never once thought my safety was in jeopardy. So while I rated my performance bad - it was because of the sea sickness that forced me to stop several times and slowed me down considerably.

I figured I would be about 1:30 to 1:40. This was a 1:57 swim! unbelievable. I thought about it later on the bike and if this had been my first Iron Distance race, I would probably never do it again - it was tough.

The race director explained that he had to make a decision by 5am and at that time the wind was forecast to be mild, so he kept it in the lake. Unfortunately, as time went on, it got worse. They pulled 60 people out of the water. The announcer commented during the Finishers Brunch, you know its a bad water day, when even the water safety folks were puking.

Just glad everyone made it safely.
Transition 1
  • 08m 47s

so relieved to be on shore. two kiddie pools for rinsing feet off - used a wet suit stripper for the first time - awesome! did NOT want to bend over to get out of mine in transition - walked most of the way to transition, grabbed my gear bag and headed into the tent. 4 women were inside. One had her head in a bucket, two were wrapped in space blankets. I was queasy and thinking "move slowly and see how you feel". I seem to be recovering pretty quickly - maybe throwing up in the water was a blessing in disguise - these ladies seemed to be much worse off than me - dizziness was fading quickly.
What would you do differently?:

  • 8h 01m 13s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.96 mile/hr

It was a gorgeous day for a bike ride - temps were in the upper 60's to low 70's, slight breeze. Just perfect! Scenery was nice. It does get lonely if you're a slower rider like me. I have been in a long relocation process moving from Baltimore to Chicago and have moved 4 times in the past 3 months for temporary housing arrangements. Between the move and the job, training was a challenge - although I managed to get it in - it wasn't the distances I felt I needed to be prepared for this distance. Part of that was because at IM Steelhead less than a month ago - my right calf seized immediately after the race and I was told no weight bearing exercise for two weeks. That close to my big race, it was hard to imagine how this was going to go. The night before the race, I was reviewing my race reports and came across my first century. I was soooo nervous because my longest ride before that was only 65 miles. But I did it and I was fine - I paced myself and made sure to get plenty of nutrition along the route. That was a great reminder that I've done this before (I've completed two iron distances, so I know what its like) and I can surely do it again. Having a nightmare swim just before the bike was not in the picture, but - it happened. I figured I would just take it easy, ride as planned and see how it goes. My first objective was to get calories. I sipped my malto (gatorade mixed with maltodextrin) and realized I needed FOOD - something solid in my stomach (typically a no,no for me on a long ride - only liquid calories - but my gut said this was different - I had to take the chance). I grabbed a power bar from the aid station and it was heaven. I nibbled it to make sure it would go down. Kept that one power bar on me the whole ride - pulled it out 3 times to eat a small portion of it. I think it really was the main ingredient to getting me back on track. I stopped at 50M to refuel. I knew we passed this spot again at 87M and asked if they would still be there or not. The volunteer said they will be there as long as we are on the course - good thing I grabbed all my stuff - they were gone the next time around. I had a wonderful surprise when my cousin from Cleveland drove over with her 2 kids to cheer me on at mile 40! Awesome to see her - if only for 3 seconds. I was not sweating - because I wasn't hot - but took a salt table anyway at the 3 hour mark - only because when I took a drink out of my water bottle, I could taste the salt on it from my lips. I was calculating my miles and keeping track of my time. I just wanted to finish close to 8 hours. Less would be great, but I was not pushing this bike today. I still have a marathon to run (with a potentially bum calf). There is one long 13 mile stretch that if you have a tail wind would be awesome, however, that was not the case - so I downshifted into an easier gear and spun my way through it. Saving my energy. There is one short steep hill that you pass twice. Again, granny gear and ease on up. There was one other very steep hill - don't know where - but that one I had to go over 130 watts just to get up it - but it was very short, and I was careful to keep my HR in check. Around the 4 hour mark, my back started to bug me a tiny bit. I stretch every 10 miles (twist my back both ways, stand in the peddles) and change my hand position frequently. I had packed some emergency tylenol and decided I better take it now, before the pain really digs in - which since I haven't done these long rides (only one 85 mile and a couple 56 miles) - I know my back will be an issue. Worked like a charm. Never thought about my back after that. As I was getting closer to the finish - I realized I might actually finish in less than 8 hours (only a minute or two), so I kept plugging away - I knew it would be close - because I couldn't remember if I started my watch before or after I left the bike mount. I pushed pretty hard coming through the parking lot and according to my watch - finished in 7:59 - but official time is 8:01 - - -LOL - no worries - it's close enough. My first iron distance was 8:10, my second was 7:49 - so this was right in the middle. Works for me :)
What would you do differently?:

For this particular race not much - I was intentionaly taking it easy.
Transition 2
  • 04m 47s

Solid transition. Grabbed my gear bag and headed into the tent. I packed all my run bottles separately. They were frozen 8 oz bottles, inside ziploc bags, wrapped in washcloths and finally aluminum foil. They were still very cold - good! I hate warm malto mix
What would you do differently?:

not bring my own mix - this is the second time in an iron distance race that I have not used the nutrition that I brought. - okay - well, bring it - but not as much. - although they did help to keep my fuel belt in place (sometimes I fight between the race belt and the fuel belt and my shirt) - had no issues at all this whole race.
  • 4h 59m 45s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 26s  min/mile

Run - woo hoo! NOW we can finish this race :) I've been struggling since IM Steelhead with soleus muscle in my right calf, going to PT 3 x's a week - no running/biking - started to build up run distance - no more than 20 minutes, then walk. Left calf seizes a week ago. So… run will be a series of run/walks HR 137 - walk all aid stations. First 3 miles - no shade - hot blistering sun - walked a lot to keep HR down - trying to get calories in but stomach queasy. Cola at first aid station! yes & pretzels! so good to settle my tummy - I've wanted this since I got out of the water - banana at next station - whew! I think I'm gonna be okay - VERY sunny run - pretty run through the little parks. AWESOME volunteers - can't thank them enough. Kept HR 133-135 for the first half. Skipped special needs - gatorade was REALLY good - almost tasted salty (probably over mixed - but then might be gatorade endurance which I think IS saltier) -but just what I needed. I started to get heartburn - switch to water only - dehydrating - did not pee at all on run - took salt tablet and kept refiling my bottle with ice water at each aid station. Kept up a very steady pace - sure enough, the second half of the run is when I bring it on home. By this time almost everyone on the course is walking and I'm trotting along past them. My knees started to ache about mile 15 - so once again, I grab the emergency tylenol (it had been 7 hours since I took the last two) to ward off any onset - again, only because I had not been able to get my distance running in - longest run to date had been only13 miles). Passing so many people is a great motivator for me - people are so awesome on the course and while there are no spectators to speak of…..the race participant themselves are cheering me on. I let my HR drift up to 140-141. I had been checking my progress and in my head was thinking if I can run 5 miles every hour, that would be okay by me. Each time I checked I was slightly better than target (59:30, 1:58, 2:57, etc). At mile 20 I was at 3:53 and realized that I can run 6 miles in less than an hour (without having 14 hours of racing in front of it), so even if I pick up the pace and walk only 20 seconds I might actually be able to finish in under 5 hours. I start picking up the pace and shortening the walk (I could feel a small tweak in my left calf and quite firmly told it to HOLD OFF until I finish this race) and then with 3 miles to go - I just RUN, no stops @ aid stations. I was pretty excited to finish at 4:59:45 - a new PR for me!!! Nice way to finish the race.
What would you do differently?:

nothing. I raced the plan and it turned out better than I thought. Even my calves cooperated. I guess deep water running really does help (I did 2 weeks of 1.5 hours 3-4 times a week).
Post race
Warm down:

got my finisher photo, medal, visor, water and space blanket. Walked around transition, grabbed my keys and took my gear bags to the car. Nice that they brought my special needs bags to the rack and put them with my other bags. And extra nice that I was parked so close. Walked back to get my bike and put it in the car - walking after these races is the best recovery I know. My quads were a little tight but otherwise I was fine. After loading the car, I headed back to the food tent - taco's were not what I wanted after a day of queasiness - but I did get some pasta. Still had heartburn, so cola, and power aid didn't taste good either. Just headed back to the apartment and text my coach (normally I call him - but he's in the hospital having just had his spine fused - probably should let him rest).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Moving from Baltimore to Chicago, finding places to train, new job, moving from temporary house to temporary house, recent injury and PT and not having the level of fitness that I wanted in time for the race. So my goal for this race, was simply to finish and enjoy it.

Event comments:

Rev3 is MERGING with Challenge. Rev3 and Challenge both have great family friendly events. The weekend was filled with races and activities. It is a smaller venue (under 300 for the full) so its a great race for first timers. The volunteers are great, its organized. The swag is not so great (but you are paying substantially less than IM). Disappointed a finisher shirt is not included - and they ran out and didn't have any at the finishers brunch (I never buy anything race related until AFTER I finish the race). Strange little "man purse" instead of a backpack for swag. Don't know what I'm going to do with it. The course is great - assuming the water is flat (it was a sheet of glass on Friday, had rip current advisory on Saturday and race day it was full-on waves). The bike is fairly flat and the run is completely flat. I won second in my age group, so all things consider, this was an awesome race for me.

Last updated: 2014-01-10 12:00 AM
01:57:55 | 3862 meters | 03m 03s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 169/220
Performance: Bad
First lap 55:00, second lap 1:02:00 - stopped to rest on paddle board at about 1.75 mile and grabbed a kayak about 300 yards from the finish - to throw up twice - yuck! My garmin says I swam 2.6 miles
Suit: sleeveless, no 2nd swim cap
Course: Triangle, each leg .4 miles - do one full triangle, then two sides of the triangle with the second side continuing on in .4 miles to the beach and the finish.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:47
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
08:01:13 | 112 miles | 13.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 191/220
Performance: Good
Target between 125-130 HR in the beginning, go up to 135 midway and okay towards the end to let it drift to 138. Never do more than 130 watts. Keep cadence between 80 and 85
Wind: Some
Course: lollipop - out 18 miles, two 38 mile loops, return 18 miles (make SURE you know where the RETURN is - - I personally met not one, but TWO guys who missed it - one caught up to me when I was at mile 75 asking where the park was, he was already at 112 miles! - he had missed the return and done a third loop, he was going to have to do 150 miles total - another I met on the run - he did 120 miles - he realized his mistake and turned around earlier).
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:47
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:59:45 | 26.2 miles | 11m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 160/220
Performance: Good
In discussing this with my coach before the race, my target is 137HR while I'm running and walk all the aid stations - should average out to about 133-135'ish.
Course: over the causeway to downtown Sandusky, through a couple small parks and then back and forth along the downtown streets - back over the causeway - turnaround near the finish line - repeat!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3