No worries! I am physically (and mostly mentally) fine. Just had some bike mechanical issues (two flat tires) that stopped me short of finishing the bike course.
Otherwise! I was having the race of my life!!! Guess I had owed some Karma points to the Triathlon Gods. Are we even now?
The race itself:
Rev3 puts on a great show. It felt like doing any other triathlon. I really wasn't doing it for the "Rev3 experience" but more for the race date, location, and distance (in that order) synced well with my season's schedule. But! There is one thing I wish Ironman did do, and that is the tri tats. SO. FREAKING.BAD.ASS!
|can you see my (now 12 month old) arm tan line?|
The Swim: 24:58
Exactly a week prior I did that 2 mile OWS race and came out with a TERRIBLE time. This time? I went fast! My coach the day before said, "Jon, go out hard the first 200 yards and find some feet!"
I could sense the frustration in his voice over my swim form this season. Trust me, I have been as equally as frustrated!
So for the swim itself, I lined myself right up to the front and expected to take a beating. That never happened, but (without knowing this) actually was one of the fast people in my wave! I came out of the water in my age group of 68 people in 10th place!!!
I swam over half the wave in front of me. Never done that before and my swim form just felt "ON!"
I think my previous swim PR for this distance is a 26:20 or something. So already I was 1:22 up on my PR!
BAM! SWIMMING REDEMPTION!!!
I realized I had a good swim when I got to my bike and the ENTIRE rack was still filled with bikes. Oh yeah! This just kept feeding the fire!
Wet suit came off easier than it has ever came off. Thank you Tri Slide!!! What did I ever do without you?
|Look how close I was to bike out & in!|
The Bike: Blah....
Got out on the bike and immediately started passing people, and there were few people out on the course since I was in the 2nd wave and just had the swim of my life! I was smooth, cranking up hills and just dropping people like crazy! I still didn't know my swim time so I figured there weren't too many people in my age group ahead of me so I just plugged on. But I was clearly one of the stronger riders out there. NOBODY was passing me!!!
And then it happened.....
The rear of my bike started bouncing. NOOOO!!!! This ALWAYS means a going flat rear tire. Bummer...
So I stopped and confirmed that it was indeed going flat. Hit stop on my bike computer and said to myself:
"No big deal. So placing is out of the question. This race is just a speed workout and you can fix the flat and continue on at race pace, and use your unofficial time as validation for your fitness."
So I attempted to fix the flat. I quickly found a tiny tiny metal shard in the tire that punctured the tube and attempted to remove it. But it wouldn't come out! How can I thing so small be so hard to remove? I tried for 20 mins. Yes! 20 mins to remove this itty bitty shard! It wouldn't come out!
I saw the race marshalls pass by, flagged them down, asked them if they had any tweezers and in the process lost the location of the metal shard. They couldn't help me, and I doubt they had tweezers anyways, but when I got back to finding the shard, I couldn't find it! I found it SO easily the first time, but now I couldn't find it.
So I figured it must have fallen out (big mistake!), put in a new tube, and continued on.
And I started passing people again. I was now in the thick of the masses of the race so I was passing hordes of people like crazy!
Continued to ride on, even through needle piercing rain on bare skin, until mile 22.7 when I hit a bump and my rear tire went instantly flat, on a slight downhill on wet roads. Scary! I hate the sound and crunching vibrations of riding on rim, so I brought the bike to a stop QUICKLY!
My day was done....I had already used up my only spare tube and I started walking it back to transition, which was 3 miles away. Since it was 60 degrees and pouring, and I was already chilled and soaked, and I was barely wearing any clothing, I started to get cold. I flagged down a nice couple in their SUV with their infant children and they gave me a lift back to transition. John and Joanna: If you are reading this. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!! You saved me from hypothermia that day! John told me his dad was a triathlete years ago and was also picked up from a bike mechanical by some nice strangers, so he said he was just paying it forward. Thanks again!!!
Walked into transition with my frame in one hand, two wheels in the other (had to take the bike apart to fit into the car) and was getting all kinds of support. "Way to finish!!!" Sorry folks, I was done!
They took my chip, the really really nice bike mechanic in transition grabbed my bike for me and started giving me a tune up! Sweet! He found the shard, removed it, replaced the tube, adjusted the derailleur, and I gave him a nice tip. Thanks as well! He explained to me that without tweezers, there was no way that shard was coming out. It was in there just right. So I basically was racing the last half of the course on borrowed time. It was inevitable that another flat would occur.
You can't win them all. Turns out I beat the top 3 in my AG out of the water and wasn't passed by anyone by almost halfway through the bike, so who knows how my overall race would have turned out, but I could tell it would have been a magical time. I felt so strong! I would say that is where most of the disappointment lies: Missing out on a perfect day rather than not finishing.
This race was the 2nd lowest on my priorities of the season, but I still got in a PR swim and 22.7 mile speedy bike ride on a hilly course! This race was going to be my entire weekend, so after telling my coach of the DNF he quickly added on a 90 min run and a 4 hour bike ride to round out the weekend. I'll take it! I am 3 weeks out from Mont Tremblant 70.3 I will take the extra volume!
But do you think that this race is going to keep me down? HELL NO!!! So....
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post which outlines "The Plan" going forward. Its gonna be good!!!