First off I want to say that the Rev3 Cedar Point race was an awesome venue and was also very well ran. I am saying that not as a sponsored athlete of Team Trakkers, but as a racer. My buddy that also did the race echoed the same sentiments. Personally, I believe the race rivaled those put on by Ironman in terms of quality. But now on to the race report.
Leading up to the race, I felt a little unprepared. I have felt this way before, but this time I was actually unprepared for the race. I was confident on the bike, but my preparation for the run and swim were a bit lacking. I am sure I could come up with a myriad of excuses, but I won't bore everyone here with those.
We (my racing buddy Erik and I) arrived in Cleveland late Thursday night, picked up our rental car and headed for Cedar Point. We arrived about midnight and the place was a ghost town. Seriously, there were maybe 4 other cars in the parking lot. Friday morning we walked out of the hotel and made the long 50 yard trek to the practice swim about 8:30 and were greeted by some not so fun chop and swell and Lake Erie. Some of you might be used to this, but in Memphis, TN, we aren't. The swim was, shall we say, not so great. It had me worried about Sunday's race. After the swim, we headed over to the check-in area to pick our bikes up, get checked in for the race and to also get checked in for the volunteering duties Sunday night. Once we were all checked in, we went for a short bike ride to ensure that everything was put together properly and the bike was running ok. Great job by the guys at Bike Authority of Cleveland. Well worth the money to ship it to them ahead of time and have them bring the bike to the race, already put together. After the short spin, I spent some time at the Trakkers tent with Anne and her husband before a quick change of clothes in order to be back for Robert (of http://www.firstendurance.com/) nutrition talk and a night of roller coasters! The talk with Robert was very informative...lots of good info that would end up helping me in the race on Sunday (more on this later). Afterwards a Trakkers group of us headed over to the amusement park to ride some roller coasters. Needless to say, it was awesome. This was my first time to Cedar Point and if any of you guys are roller coaster nuts, you have to visit. The best by far was Top Thrill Dragster. 10,000 horsepower rockets you off from 0 to 120 mph in 3 seconds, then shoots you straight up (and I mean literally straight up) 420 feet from which you then plummet straight down topping out at 120 mph again. It was awesome! I will also admit that I realized that I am not as young as I used to because after 6 roller coasters, I felt like I was going to hurl! After doing 6 roller coasters, my buddy and I decided to go find some food, because we were starving.
I took it pretty easy on Saturday. Went out with my teammates to the practice swim and lubed up some athletes with some TriSlide (anti chaffing spray) and passed out some samples of Foggle (anti goggle fog wipes) (http://www.sbrsportsinc.com/index.html) . The chop and swell had returned, so the nerves were a little frayed. After that, I grabbed some pancakes for breakfast and then proceeded to watch football for a while. Some time around lunch, we took our bikes over to the transition area and then headed back for some rest and relaxation. A dinner trip to the Olive Garden ended the night.
Day 3 aka Race Day!
The last race of the year was here and I was determined to have fun in this one and not really focus on my time. We arrived to transition around 6:30 and began setting up. It was here that I realized that I made my one mistake of the trip (besides riding that last roller coaster)....I had forgotten my bike nutrition. I had my EFS drink (http://www.firstendurance.com/), but had left my Payday bar back in the room. Looks like I would be operating on EFS alone. After leaving transition, we headed down to the swim start to watch a bit of the Full Rev3 participants and to my surprise, the water was actually a lot calmer than the previous days. My wave went off right at 8:20 I believe and the water was cold, about 66 degrees last I heard. For you northerners, that might be just right, but this was the coldest water I had swam in to date. Overall the swim went ok, minus the bloody nose from getting kicked about 300 yards into the swim. It took me a couple minutes to get my bearings, but I recovered and put in a solid, not spectacular swim by my standards.
Out of the water, I ran up to transition and threw my bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses on. At the last minute, I decided to put on the arm warmers that I threw in my bag (I already had on my Saucony compression calf sleeves http://www.saucony.com/) and this ended up being a bit more difficult than I had hoped since I was wet. No worries though, today was all about fun. I ended up running out of transition with my training/racing buddy, so we chatted a bit for the first 2/3rds of the bike, which also led to my first ever penalty, but it was worth it because the bike went by fast. About 35 miles into the bike portion, my past stomach issues started to rear their ugly head. Once this started, I remembered what Robert of First Endurance had told us on Friday night. He mentioned that if you feel stomach issues starting, to start taking in water only in order to dilute whatever was causing the issues in your stomach. By continuing to force gatorade/cerrasport or whatever other sports drink the course offers will only make it worse. I can honestly say this made the difference in making my race being a pleasant one and being a miserable one. Thanks Robert! I might have finally found the reason why I have had some issues this year. In all other races I felt like I needed to keep forcing down the sports drink. The course was very flat and fairly fast except for the last 10 or so miles that were into a pretty steady headwind. I wanted top average around 20 mph and came in around 19.5.
The run was pretty uneventful for me. I was undertrained (never ran more than 7 miles in preparation) so I knew there would be some walking. While I did walk some, I ended up being faster than I expected and had zero foot/knee pain or stomach issues. I talked to a few other racers and volunteers along the way. The weather was perfect and the course was very enjoyable. I started getting calf cramps the last mile, but nothing serious. The finish in the park was pretty neat and I would estimate there were about 200 people lined up to see the finishers. This doesn't even include the rest of the people that were in the park enjoying the rides. My overall time was 6:23 and it felt fairly easy and comfortable. A nice way to end the season.
Nutrition wise, I relied solely on my EFS drink during the bike along with some water at the stops. I had some more EFS at the run transition and then had a few cups of coke and the rest water during the run. Doing this race and listening to Robert, I realized that you don't have to have a smorgasbord of nutrition during these longer races to get you through them. If you are smart with what you eat leading up to the race and then have the right selection during the race, your body can get through it on liquid nutrition alone. This might not work for everyone, but it worked for me and actually has me excited about next year's race schedule and the possibilities. Thanks again First Endurance, and if you haven't used them before, please check them out http://www.firstendurance.com/. If nothing else, their website has some really good information on nutrition in general.
The evening came to an end with me volunteering the finish line of the Full Rev. I worked from 8-midnight, and it was a blast! I got there in time to see a few of my teammates finish (Anne, Andy and Jamie) as well as seeing the determination of the last few finishers getting in at the cut-off. I definitely recommend volunteering. It is amazing to see the determination, pain and happiness in all the finishers faces.
All in all, it was a good season, if not a bit long. I started in April with a 70.3 event and ended in September with a 70.3 event. In the middle were various Olympic and sprint events as well as a new edition to our family. I would like to thank all my sponsors (You guys all ROCK!)....Trakkers GPS (http://www.trakkersgps.com/), Saucony (http://www.saucony.com/), First Endurance (http://www.firstendurance.com/), All3Sports.com (http://www.all3sports.com/) and TriSwim (www.sbrsportsinc.com/index.html) .
Hopefully I will be lucky enough to be back with TrakkersGPS.com next year...It was lots of fun!
I will be working on my 2011 schedule (will include another 140.6 event) in the next week, and then starting my winter maintenance program. Besides that, there should be some fun mountain bike rides and some leisurely road rides, mixed in with some 5K races, before the heavy training starts next year.
Till next time....
Bringing it Back
10 months ago